Nearly 8,000+ I&M customers still without power after severe weather

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(Photo supplied/Indiana Michigan Power)

Nearly 17,000 Indiana Michigan Power customers lost electricity due, in part, to wind gusts that topped 70 miles per hour in spots. By 11 p.m., Saturday, the number of outages was reduced to more than 3,000.

Track Indiana Michigan Power outages here

Strong thunderstorms with significant lightning and high winds swept through southwest Michigan and northern Indiana Friday night and early Saturday, disrupting service to nearly 20,000 customers in both Michiana and the Fort Wayne area.

By 8:30 a.m. Saturday, I&M had restored nearly 30% of those customers. Crews are in the field to restore outages in southwest Michigan, northeast Indiana and in the South Bend/Elkhart area and will continue working until all customers are restored.

Southwest Michigan was the hardest-hit area, with heavy tree damage reported and recorded wind gusts of 68 mph in Buchanan and 64 mph in Benton Harbor.

ESTIMATED RESTORATION TIMES

Estimated Times of Restoration have been established for customers impacted by the storms. Many customers will be restored before the listed times, as crews move from outage to outage to return power to all customers. ETRs for the affected areas are:

Michigan

Benton Harbor area: 75% of customers by 11 p.m. tonight and 100% by 11 p.m. Sunday

Three Rivers area: 85% of customers by 11 p.m. tonight and 100% by 3 p.m. Sunday

Buchanan area: Restored

Indiana

South Bend/Elkhart area: 11 p.m. tonight

Fort Wayne area: 95% are restored; 100% by noon Sunday

SAFETY INFO

Please pay attention to several safety precautions:

  • Downed power lines. Stay away from any downed wires and report them to I&M.  You can call us at 800-311-4634, report on our app or website, or call 911.
  • Trees could fall or drop limbs at any moment, please look up.
  • Standing water could hide debris or even downed wires.
  • Roads will likely be wet, slick and covered with debris.
  • Traffic lights may not be functioning. Please use caution and be mindful of first responders and utility workers on the roadways.
  • Crews will be following all CDC guidelines on physical distancing and we urge the general public not to approach our crews.
  • Temperatures and humidity levels remain high for this time of the year. We urge anyone working outside to look for signs of heat stress and take appropriate precautions at the first sign of heat-related fatigue.

OUTAGE NUMBERS:.

As of 8:30 a.m., approximate outage numbers were:

Michigan Total Customer Outages: 11,500

Benton Harbor area:  6,700

Buchanan area:  500

Three Rivers area:  4,250

Indiana Total Customer Outages: 2,440

Fort Wayne area:  1,670

South Bend/Elkhart area:  770

ESTIMATED RESTORATION TIMES (ETRs)

Estimated Times of Restoration will be determined and announced after all of the widespread damage is assessed.

STAY INFORMED

I&M encourages customers to use the Indiana Michigan Power app to monitor the status of any outage affecting your home or business. IndianaMichiganPower.com/App

You can sign up for text and email alerts on the app or at IndianaMichiganPower.com/Alerts

See the location and status of outages using our outage map at IndianaMichiganPower.com/OutageMap

For the latest updates please follow Indiana Michigan Power on Facebook and find us on Twitter @IN_MI_Power

A few more scattered showers and thunderstorms are possible on Saturday, but no widespread severe weather is expected. Highs will finish in the lower 80s. We should be mostly dry on Sunday with temperatures closer to 90 degrees.

A stray storm is possible on Sunday as well. Better storm chances arrive by Monday afternoon with very warm temperatures sticking around. We’ll end the month of June and begin the month of July on a hot, humid and dry note.

Your ABC 57 First Warning Neighborhood Weather Center Forecast:

Saturday: Scattered showers and a few thunderstorms. High 83.

Sunday: Partly cloudy with a stray storm possible. High 87.

Monday: Isolated thunderstorms during the afternoon. High 88.

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