100-degree heat baking area
The temperature was 100 degrees just before 6 p.m. Wednesday with a heat index of 104, according to the National Weather Service. Temperatures near 100 were predicted for the rest of the week. Overnight lows in the 70s were expected through Saturday. Factoring in humidity will push heat indices to 105 to 110 through Saturday.
The heat can be dangerous for children and older residents, especially at a time when many Allen County residents remain without electricity after Friday's storm that brought gusts recorded at 91 mph. The high wind knocked down trees and limbs and power lines with them.
Mayor Tom Henry on Wednesday urged residents to take advantage of the city's cooling centers, which will be open Wednesday and Thursdays during the following hours:
*The Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Department's Community Center, 233 W. Main St., noon- 6 p.m.
*Lifetime Sports Academy at the McMillen Park Golf Clubhouse, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
*The Jennings Center at 1330 McCulloch St.., noon-5 p.m.
On Thursday, a fourth cooling center will be open:
* Public Safety Academy, 7602 Patriot Crossing, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
The centers provided relief for 25 people Tuesday.
Overnight relief is available at the American Red Cross shelter at First Assembly of God, 1400 W. Washington Center Road at Lima Road. Residents should enter through door No. 5. More than 40 residents were at the shelter overnight Tuesday.
85% have power restored
Crews are 85 percent complete with the storm restoration in Allen County and
continue to restore about 11,500 customers as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, according to Indiana Michigan Power spokesman Dave Mayne.
Crews worked through the July Fourth holiday to restore service to another 11,500 customers in the area who remain without power. An estimated 118,000 customers in the I&M service area had their power knocked out in Friday's high-wind storm that had gusts up to 91 mph.Since Friday, 66,500 customers in Allen County and 106,000
customers elsewhere have had their power restored. I&M has brought in crews from other states to restore power at a time of oppressive heat when many residents were unable to use fans or air conditioning in their homes. The city has three cooling centers open and the American Red Cross has a shelter at the First Assembly of God on Washington Center Road to help residents without power stay cool.
Power restoration has been quicker than I&M's automated outage map could keep up, so the company has temporarily deactivated the map.
All but one traffic signal out
After numerous traffic lights went out in Friday's high-wind storm, all but the one at Coliseum Boulevard and New Haven Avenue are functioning, city spokesman Frank Suarez reported at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Red Cross helping in Ohio, Colorado
The American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana's emergency response vehicle left Tuesday to help with storm damage relief in Columbus, Ohio, It will be there for at least two weeks unless called to assist with another disaster relief operation, wrote Tracy Duncan Fox, spokeswoman. The second ERV will remain at the shelter in Fort Wayne unless called out. "Our two volunteers (a husband and wife) with the ERV in Columbus will assist with clean up operations, sheltering, mental health and other services provided to our clients," Fox wrote.
Another volunteer has gone to Colorado to assist with the wildfire relief operations and he will be working in warehousing, assisting with getting needed supplies to shelters, first responders and other emergency management agencies.
Local volunteers are operating the Fort Wayne temporary shelter.
If anyone is interested in becoming a Red Cross disaster relief volunteer, they can call the northeast Indiana chapter at 484-9336.