WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain early Saturday morning caused over ten thousand homes across the Wabash Valley to lose power.
Customers of both Duke Energy and WIN energy experienced outages after the second wave of storms rolled through around 5 a.m. Saturday, Duke Energy District Manager Rick Burger said. The main cause of the outages according to Burger: fallen trees.
“At one time we had 11 or 12 different circuits here in the area were affected so anytime we have circuits affected, that’s major numbers,” he said. “Terre Haute was hit the hardest in Indiana on our system.”
At its peak, Burger said Duke had around 13,000 customers left without power. WIN Energy also had around 2,500 customers lose power in Vigo and Sullivan counties, according to a news release sent Saturday. The local electrical co-op also said the northern district of its service area has experienced “extensive damage.”
Though none of here property was damaged Kim Wagley says she knows she was more fortunate than others.
“We’ve got no house damage. Our neighbor doesn’t. Next house down has an attic window that blew in,” Wagley said. “I do know there’s a car around the alley that, or around the block that brand new car completely inside a fallen tree, so it’s totaled.”
Service crews have been sent out by WIN as well as Duke to fix the issues and contract crews have been called in by both electrical providers to assist them. As of 3:30 p.m. Saturday, WIN crew members had restored power to more than 1,500 customers, according to a news release. Less than 900 customers are still without power, the release said.
WIN is reminding its customers to not touch or get near any fallen trees or damaged power lines in the area before crew members arrive.
Despite additional service crews being brought in, WIN said its customers should expect extended outages do to the extent of the storm damage and that service crews have been finding damage to trees, poles and power lines across Vigo and Sullivan counties.
According to Burger, Duke customers could potentially go without power until Sunday due to significant damage in the Bloomington, Ind., area as well. Duke still had over 16,000 reported homes without power in Indiana as of 4 p.m. Saturday, with over 4,000 of them located within the Wabash Valley area.
To report an outage, WIN members can call 888-456-9876, text “OUT” to 85700 or go online. Duke customers may report outages over the phone by calling 800-343-3525, by using Duke’s mobile app or website or by texting 57801.
This is a developing story with additional outage reports to follow.