FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The following is a release from Indiana Michigan Power.
Indiana Michigan Power crews and contractors, along with other power companies, are working to restore service to the tens of thousands of I&M customers who lost power as a result of a derecho windstorm that hit the Midwest Monday evening.
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The approximate number of as of 9 a.m. were:
- Indiana Total Customer Outages: 21,000
- Fort Wayne/Northeast Indiana area: 10,500
- Muncie/Marion/East Central Indiana area: 950
- South Bend/Elkhart/North Central Indiana area: 9,400
- Michigan Total Customer Outages: 19,250
- Benton Harbor area: 15,800
- Buchanan area: 1,000
- Three Rivers area: 2,400
ESTIMATED TIMES of RESTORATION (ETRs)
Crews are actively assessing damage to pinpoint where to direct resources and safely restore as many customers as possible as soon as possible.
Estimated times of restoration will be established after damage is assessed.
A description of the steps in restoring power can be found online.
As of 9 a.m., I&M crews working overnight had restored power to more than 20% of the approximately 51,875 customers who lost service Monday.
Earlier Monday, I&M successfully restored more than 11,000 customers – most in the South Bend/Elkhart area – who lost power as the result of an unrelated storm early Monday.
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I&M is deploying more than 600 employees, contractors and personnel from other power companies to assist with restoration. Many of them are on the ground now, and more are traveling to I&M’s service territory. Given the widespread, extensive damage, this is likely to be a multi-day restoration effort.
Peak wind gusts of 66 mph were reported in Benton Harbor, causing heavy damage in southwest Michigan.
I&M will keep our customers updated about the status of the restoration.
Other reported wind gusts included Kendallville, 51 mph; Fort Wayne, 49 mph; Portland, 48 mph; South Bend, 47 mph.
Numerous tree branches that were blown onto power lines were a major cause of the outages, which occurred across I&M’s service territory.
I&M is reminding the public of the possible dangers in the wake of the storm:
- Downed power lines.
- Stay away from any downed wires and report them to I&M.
- You can call us at 800-311-4634, report on our app or website, or call 911.
- Downed wires may be hidden by limbs and debris or touching a fence, so look carefully before cleaning up after the storm.
- Trees could fall or drop limbs at any moment, please look up.
- Even a day after the storm subsided, damaged trees, branches and limbs could still fall.
- Standing water could hide debris or even downed wires.
- Roads will likely be wet, slick and covered with debris.
- Traffic lights may not be functioning.
- Please use caution and be mindful of first responders and utility workers on the roadways.