NIPSCO Braces for Potential Storm Power Outages


  MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (AP) _ Northern Indiana’s largest utility says it has increased staffing to cope with any outages caused by a massive line of thunderstorms bearing down on Indiana.
 
  The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center in Oklahoma has warned the line of storms developing over eastern Iowa and northern Illinois Wednesday afternoon could surge into a massive cluster of storms called a derecho. Such storms can pack windspeeds comparable to a tornado.
 
  The storms are expected to push into northwest Indiana early Wednesday evening.
 
  The Northern Indiana Public Service Co. says it is increasing staff at its customer call center and scheduling extra work crews to handle any outages.
 
  A similar storm last year knocked out power to as many as 118,000 customers in the Fort Wayne area.