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INDIANAP PWR4CCP : Thousands of IPL customers still in the dark after storms

07/15/2015 | 11:54am US/Eastern

July 15--Crews worked overnight to restore power in Indianapolis after strong storms Monday and early Tuesday morning caused heavy damage, but thousands of residents are still in the dark.

More than 14,000 Indianapolis Power & Light customers are still without power as of Wednesday morning, according to the company's website.

The company tweeted Wednesday morning that crews worked overnight and have restored power to about 60,000 people since the storms hit.

Another 4,000 people across the state are still without power, according to Duke Energy.

The good news, though, is that Indianapolis residents can look forward to a respite from the frequent rainy weather thus far this summer.

The National Weather Service in Indianapolis is reporting that Wednesday will be free of rain.

The weather service tweeted Wednesday morning: "Retweet if you're as excited as we are for day with no rain or storms and much less humidity across central #Indiana!"

Cleanup began Tuesday and continued Wednesday as tens of thousands were without power after powerful storms pummeled Central Indiana and caused widespread damage.

Power outages, high water, downed trees and structural damage plagued Marion County and the surrounding area after powerful overnight storms rolled through Monday and early Tuesday morning.

Crews rushed around Indianapolis to clean up the damage. Some city streets were closed Tuesday for downed trees or high water.

"There has been so much rain that the ground was so soaked, so a lot of these trees just fell over," Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security Chief Gary Coons said.

Police were warning motorists to drive carefully because some roads were covered with standing water and some traffic signals were without power and not functioning.

In Boone County, authorities warned drivers about high water at 96th Street and Ford Road. The area is marked with signs.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works closed North Pennsylvania Street from East 22nd Street to East Fall Creek Parkway South to remove fallen trees and tree limbs.

Damage reports compiled by the National Weather Service detail downed trees and damaged power lines in Marion and its surrounding counties. In Speedway, there were reports of significant tree damage, with large limbs coming down on several vehicles.

There were no storm-related injuries reported in Indianapolis, but Indiana Conservation Officers in Brown County pulled a man's body out of Gnawbone Creek around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. Travis Watkins, 37, was swept away in the flooded creek outside of his Brown County home around midnight Monday.

A weak tornado caused some damage in Tippecanoe County, near Pine Village, National Weather Service meteorologist Amanda Lee said. Another confirmed tornado, with 90 mph winds, hit near Heritage Lake in Putnam County shortly before 9:30 p.m.

Lee said this is the eighth-wettest July on record for Marion County.

Indianapolis saw almost 2 inches of rain from Monday to Tuesday, bringing the total for the month up to 8 inches.

"We've still got a couple of weeks to keep climbing that chart," Lee said.

A "crazy unstable" atmosphere led to significant amounts of lightning during the storms, Lee said, though the service did not have data on how much lightning struck the ground.

There were also reports of home damage that stretched from the area of 10th Street and Tibbs Avenue to the area of Meridian Street and Thompson Road.

Power outages shut down Ivy Tech's Downtown campus, Marian University and The Children's Museum of Indianapolis for the day on Tuesday.

Capt. Rita Reith of the Indianapolis Fire Department said firefighters handled 124 calls for service in the first three hours of Tuesday.

Among the calls taken by IFD were 24 reports of downed power lines, 11 transformer investigations and two working fires. There were 13 structure collapse investigations that mostly involved trees falling on homes or missing roofs, Reith said.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's aviation unit was helping assess the damage throughout the city. Officers were using ATVs for transportation in the damaged areas, the department said.

Call Star reporter Justin L. Mack at (317) 444-6138. Follow him on Twitter: @justinlmack.


(c)2015 The Indianapolis Star

Visit The Indianapolis Star at www.IndyStar.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

© Tribune Content Agency, source Regional News

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