I&M, NIPSCO making progress restoring power

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By: Jon Zimney jzimney@953mnc.com

Crews are repairing downed power poles and power lines after the icy, windy winter blast that hit Michiana on Monday, Dec. 29.

Thousands of Indiana Michigan Power, NIPSCO and Midwest Energy Cooperative customers are still without electricity after the storm.

Indiana Michigan Power says some 5,200 outages remain and that some might not be restored until Thursday night.

I&M sent more than 270 outside contractors and employees of other utilities to assist our employees in restoring power to the Michiana area following Monday’s sustained ice and wind storm.

Many of the outages were attributed to trees and branches on power lines. More than 20 broken poles were recorded in the Michiana area in addition to a dozen broken cross-arms on poles.

I&M asks the public to exercise extreme caution around downed power lines. Please do not go near any such lines, and report downed power lines to I&M at 800-311-4634.

The Michigan District recorded numerous additional outages late afternoon Monday, so more assessment is needed to establish estimated times of restoration in Berrien County and the surrounding area.

I&M expects to restore service to 95 percent of our Elkhart customers by 10 p.m. tonight and 100 percent by 4 p.m. Wednesday.

In the harder-hit South Bend area, we expect to restore 95 percent of customers by noon Thursday, with 100 percent restoration by 11 p.m. Thursday.

As of 11 a.m., Tuesday, about 9,300 customers were without power in Michigan and about 8,500 in the South Bend/Elkhart area.

NIPSCO crews are joined today by outside resources from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio to assist with the restoration efforts, bringing the total workforce to more than 500 people.

At this point, approximately 4,800 customers are without power – some since yesterday and some new overnight. Making up the total number of affected customers are about 745 individual repairs that need to be completed. A list of affected communities can be found on NIPSCO’s online power outage map.

Progress continues throughout the day and crews will continue to work as quickly and as safely as possible to repair the damage.

Due to the severity of the damage to the electric system, some customers may not have their power restored until late Tuesday, and in some cases, outages will likely last into Wednesday.

Outage Map Updates:

Indiana Michigan Power

NIPSCO

Midwest Energy Cooperative