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'Most Damaging Storm Event' in 5 Years

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 Northern Indiana Public Service Company says it was the most damaging storm event in the last five years... and it comes on the heels of powerful storms that caused a round of damage in the Region about a week ago.

As of 11 a-m, over 67-thousand NIPSCO customers were without electricity, especially in Lake and Porter Counties. Add to that about 15-thousand members of K-V R-E-M-C losing power as well.

NIPSCO says repairs are expected to extend through the week.

K-V REMC says by noon the numbers were down to about 95-hundred... and crews from neighboring cooperatives and contract crews (like tree-trimmers) have been called to assist KV REMC. The rural electric cooperative reports five substations without power as a result of transmission feed being down.


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Storm reports courtesy of the National Weather Service Chicago office: Estimated 70-80 mile per hour wind gusts in Crown Point 716 am... 75 mph wind gust in Valparaiso  729 am... 70 mph wind gust in Portage, estimated with radar, 712am...  70 mph wind gust near Wheatfield with numerous large trees down.. and near Mount Ayr,  ten to fourteen inch diameter trees down on Jasper County roads 1980W and State Road 114.... all from trained spotters.

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In Merrillville, as many as ten-thousand NIPSCO customers were without electricity at one point, though those numbers have gone down a little

Merrillville was among the hardest hit based on phone calls we've taken today... traffic on US 30 just past the busy intersection with Broadway has been blocked off and on after a roof from a nearby Carquest auto parts store blew onto US 30... tipsters also tell us a billboard came down in that area, along with power lines... and one person said it looked like a pole of some sort was 'pulled' out of the ground

As of 130 pm today, most of the debris has been cleared from US 30 through the Broadway intersection corridor, but there are Stop signs in the area with traffic lights out.

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In the Gary/Hobart/Lake Station area, a tipster told us a highway sign was 'dangling' near the I-65/Ridge Road interchange... and the ramp was blocked earlier from Ridge Road to northbound I-65

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Valparaiso Police say a woman was transported to the hospital this morning after being struck by a barricade downtown while the Farmers Market was being set up. No word on her condition at this hour.

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In East Chicago, a caller told us it appeared a corner of a six-to-seven-story building had come down, bricks landing on Martin Luther King Drive... unknown what type of building this is or if it was occupied

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In the Kouts area, there were power lines and power poles blocked State Road 8 between Baums Bridge Road and State Road 49

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Reports of tree damage off State Road 49 near the Porter/Jasper County line, north of the Kankakee River


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Tipster reported large trees uprooted along US 421 in the North Judson/San Pierre area this morning

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One of the numerous areas that lost power today was the Porter County Fairgrounds... power was restored to the fairgrounds by about 10:30 am, and fair officials report it is business as usual for the Porter County Fair, with paid admission beginning at 1 pm as usual, and vendors and rides getting back underway this morning. The livestock shows went on as scheduled during the outage

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Several reports of trees and power lines down, and some fires were reported. No major injuries are being reported, according to Starke County Sheriffs office.

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BP Amoco in Whiting ended up closing this morning for the rest of the day due to the severe weather


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Portage Township Schools called a one-hour delay due to weather for staff and students for summer school today

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12:20 pm -- Ivy Tech Valparaiso Campus reported they are closed due to the power outage

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Tree debris on railroad tracks... Valparaiso Police say be aware of possible train delays as trains get backed up through the area. Around 12:50 pm we received word of a train stopped on the tracks on south Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso and traffic congestion.

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All games were delayed a minimum of two hours today for the National Softball Association Girls Fast Pitch World Series happening at sites across Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties. There may be different delays at individual sites due to this morning's storms. Officials reported the Valparaiso games would start at noon today

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Griffith Police Chief Ron Kotka says several trees came down in Central Park. Chief Kotka reports that one of those trees fell near the war memorial, but he did not know if it actually fell onto the memorial itself. Widespread power outages were continuing across Griffith during the midday hours. 

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At 1:30 this afternoon, Valparaiso Police reported blocked rail crossings all around the city as crews were working to clear tree debris from the tracks from this morning's storms, and trains were backed up in the area.  Those trains were just beginning to move again.

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Read more: http://www.indiana105.com/news/region-news/29998-most-damaging-storm-event-in-5-years.html

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