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Power outage, road closures remain in Allen County after storms pass

Monday, November 18, 2013 - 1:25 pm

Nearly 6,000 Indiana Michigan Power Co. customers in Allen County remained without power this morning after deadly storms ripped across the Midwest on Sunday.

I&M estimated that all of Fort Wayne, Muncie and Marion would have power restored by the end of the day, according to a news release late Monday morning. Fort Wayne had 5,500 customers without power at the time, down from a high of 8,400 on Sunday.

Fort Wayne residents fled for cover and street lights went out. National Weather Service spotters in the area near Fort Wayne International Airport reported the most damage, including three pole barns destroyed and a grain silo that lost its top in southern Allen County.

Van Wert, Ohio's emergency manager reported that high winds rolled over three campers and several others were knocked off their bases at a storage area.

Wind gusts of up to 58 mph were reported to the weather service in Allen County.

Several dozen patrons of the Allen County Public Library heard a recorded message that the library was suspending operations and they should go to the basement. Seating was provided inside the theater. They received the all clear about 10 minutes before the library closed at 5 p.m.

These county roads were closed this morning because of downed power lines: Branstrator Road between Brindle and South County Line roads; Muldoon Road between Ferguson and Winchester roads; South Anthony Extended between Dodane and Muldoon roads; and Yoder Road between Coverdale and Prine roads.

According to an update this morning from I&M, 5,900 customers in Allen County remained without power in Allen County but customers in Wells County were back online.

I&M was deploying more than 600 employees and contractors into the field after daybreak this morning to safely restore power to more than 65,000 customers who lost service due to Sunday's storms. Of those, nearly 7,100 I&M customers in Allen County were without power at 5 p.m. Sunday, with another 164 in Wells County.

To get the job done, I&M requested an additional 600 workers to assist in restoration and assessment of the damage, crucial in determining exactly where line crews need to go and in establishing priorities.

Most of the crews from outside I&M will be deployed to Michigan and South Bend, where the damage is worst. As crews complete restoration in the Muncie, Marion and Fort Wayne areas, they will move to Michigan and South Bend.

In DeKalb County, police agencies, fire departments, county and city highway departments, and utility companies responded to about 30 weather-related complaints. Downed trees were removed from roads, and utility companies were notified to repair damaged power lines.

There were no storm-related injuries.

Gov. Mike Pence was heading today to the storm-damaged Kokomo area as he began his tour of some of the destruction in the state.

Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight says the storm that damaged businesses and homes was the worst he's seen in the 48 years he's lived in the city.

Pence was then to fly on to Logansport to see storm damage there before traveling to Lafayette and to the southwestern Indiana city of Washington.

The weather service reported a tornado damaged several houses in Washington, where a farmers market was destroyed. Authorities there declared a curfew from dusk to dawn Sunday and tonight because of storm damage.

Pence said that at one point 12 counties had reported either tornadoes or damage after the initial line of storms had traveled midway across the state.