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More than 90% power outages resolved; thousands still in dark

Source: 
Times

Oct. 23--While some NIPSCO customers breathed a sigh of relief when their lights beamed back on Tuesday, some Region residents will be in the dark until Wednesday morning.

By Tuesday evening, power was restored to 90% of NIPSCO customers after high winds downed trees and damaged utility lines throughout the Region Monday, officials say. As of 6:30 p.m. about 5,560 households in Northwest Indiana were without power.

NIPSCO's website shows a bulk of the outages were in Gary, Hammond and Griffith, with more than a thousand households without power in each community. Residents in Merrillville, Highland, East Chicago, Munster, Crown Point, Hobart, Schererville, Dyer and Whiting also experienced some hefty outages.

Power was estimated to be restored Tuesday evening in Dyer, Hobart, Lake Station and Whiting, according to NIPSCO. Officials said Highland, Merrillville and Portage will likely be restored by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

Power is estimated to be restored by 6 a.m. Wednesday for East Chicago, Gary, Griffith and Hammond. Lastly, Munster will be restored by noon Wednesday, NIPSCO said in a news release.

Crews worked through Monday night to assess and service the various areas, continuing well into Tuesday, which also saw high winds that caused additional damage. Officials said more than a 1,000 repairs and reported issues were being addressed on Tuesday. These "account for the remaining affected customers."

"Employees continue to work around-the-clock to respond to the damage, with the support of additional resources working in the call center and emergency command center to focus on power restoration efforts," officials said. "NIPSCO cannot provide specific restoration times for individual customers."

Lingering effects

The mass outage -- which grew at one point to more than 50,000 -- prompted School City of Hammond officials to close Morton High School Tuesday, with students and teachers "utilizing an eLearning day." Late Tuesday afternoon, School City of Hammond tweeted that Morton High School's power has been restored and regular classes will resume Wednesday.

Gary Community Schools Corporation cancelled classes for Banneker Elementary at Marquette due to the outage. All other Gary schools remained open. On Tuesday evening, the school corporation announced power was restored and school will be open Wednesday.

Purdue University Northwest's Hammond campus and Ivy Tech Community College's East Chicago campus both were reopened Tuesday after closing all operations Monday while power was restored.

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(c)2019 The Times (Munster, Ind.)

Visit The Times (Munster, Ind.) at www.nwitimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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