More than 72,000 Indiana Michigan Power Customers without Power after Storms

INDIANA, (WOWO): Sunday evening the following message was issued from officials with Indiana Michigan Power:

The high winds that swept through the Midwest on Sunday afternoon heavily affected Indiana Michigan Power customers, knocking out power to more than 72,000 customers. Here’s what we’re doing:

•A contingent of I&M crews will work through the night to isolate and remove hazards and respond to emergency situations.

•A full force of I&M crews – aided by employees of other electric companies and outside contractors — will work on assessing damage and restoring power beginning early Monday morning.

High winds, particularly those off Lake Michigan, will prohibit crews from safely using bucket trucks through the night. Wind gusts of up to 84 mph were recorded at Grissom Air Reserve Base, near Peru, at 3:30 p.m., while gusts of 68 mph were recorded at South Bend at 3:11 p.m. Numerous poles were down in areas throughout the service area. Residents of the area should use extreme caution and stay away from fallen poles and power lines.

The winds affected the Benton Harbor, Mich., area the heaviest, with wind damage also heavy in the South Bend area.

Approximate number of I&M customers without power in Michigan:

•Benton Harbor area: 18,800 customers
•Three Rivers area: 11,400 customers
•Buchanan area: 9,800 customers
•New Buffalo area: 2,400 customers

Approximate number of I&M customers without power in Indiana:

•South Bend area: 12,500 customers
•Elkhart area: 1,500 customers
•Fort Wayne area: 8,400 customers
•Muncie area: 1,000 customers
•Marion area: 4,000 customers
•Elwood area: 400 customers
•Hartford City area: 200 customers
•Winchester area: 300 customers

Because damage is still being assessed, estimated times that power will be restored is uncertain. I&M will issue updates as they become available.