Severe Thunderstorm Warning issued for several Indiana counties

Distress calls pour into emergency centers

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INDIANAPOLIS – Hundreds of distress calls are pouring into the Emergency Operations Center in Indianapolis as people try to get through a blast of severe weather.

The EOC is temporarily housed at the Indianapolis International Airport and was activated for Sunday’s storm.

“It’s kind of a roller coaster where it slows down then all of a sudden we get pounded,” said Chief Gary Coons, Chief of Homeland Security for the City of Indianapolis, about the number of calls his department has received.

Since Sunday, volunteers have taken 1,200 calls from citizens and public safety personnel have evacuated hundreds of people who need a warm place to stay as they deal with power outages.

“We’ve transported 600 people so far to shelters and it’s gonna continue to grow throughout the night,” said Coons.

Calls are rushing into the 911 call center as well. The Sheriff’s Department transported nearly 300 people Sunday night and an additional 400 people by Monday evening.

Dispatchers are also getting a lot of calls from worried citizens requesting a courtesy check for a loved one. People who need prescription medication or medical attention have also been calling for help.

“Some of the most serious cases that we encountered were individuals who were scheduled for dialysis treatment,” explained L.T. Colonel Jeffrey Dine. “They needed transportation to the facilities. Some of the facilities were closed so we had to find a secondary location to accommodate these individuals.”

Both Dine and Coons encourage people to call for help if they need it. The Mayor’s Action Line is back up and can be reached by dialing 211.

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