Crews are still working diligently to clean up the damage from last weekend’s series of storms, but Bass Lake Fire Chief Les Jensen says the clean up efforts are going very well. The Starke County Highway Department has been removing branches from roads and power lines, and Jensen says the roads around Bass Lake that were previously closed are now open. However, some branches are still close to the road because cleanup crews had focused on getting the roads cleared and open, but those branches will soon be removed.
The NIPSCO Outage Center reports that only one customer in the Knox area is still affected by outages, with a total of 97 NIPSCO customers affected in Northern Indiana. KVREMC crews are also making efforts to clear lines and undo damages caused by the storm.
Friday’s damaging storms, which also impacted other states across the Midwest and mid-Atlantic, knocked out power to more than 40,000 homes and businesses across NIPSCO’s service area. Additional outside crews from neighboring states were quickly brought in to assist NIPSCO crews with the restoration efforts.
The storms that blew through the area last weekend caused over 7000 outages for KVREMC customers, and tens of thousands more for NIPSCO customers. Causing the outages were five substations that have been reported down due to transmission feeds from NIPSCO being out as well as broken poles and downed wires. Making the problem worse was the fact that when trees fell on the lines, they became tangled in the dangerous wires and crews had to wait for the lines to be deactivated before beginning cleanup efforts.
Starke County Commissioner Kathy Norem says the hardest hit area appeared to be around Bass Lake, where boats were reportedly flipped over in the water and even tossed up on land. Several trees were felled and Norem says cleanup crews have had their work cut out for them.
With a chance for potential storms forecasted in the week ahead, NIPSCO is closely monitoring the weather, and crews will be prepared to respond in the event of any power outages.