Power restored in Rush County after morning storm
Rushville, IN (April 8, 2015) – Things are mostly back to normal in parts of Rush County after a severe storm knocked out power to most of the city Wednesday morning.
Rush County authorities say a main transformer blew shortly before 10:00am, putting most of the city in the dark. The Rushville Police and Fire Departments, as well as the Rush County Sheriff’s Department and Rushville Memorial Hospital had to use backup generators to maintain operations during the blackout.
“Every stoplight in our town was not functioning,” said Rushville Police Major Todd Click. “So we had to try and maintain safety at the intersections.”
Click said Rushville officers, with help from Indiana State Police, used road flares to slow and maintain traffic until the highway department was able to install temporary four-way stop signs.
Click said Duke Energy crews were able to restore power to the city before noon.
Before the power went out, powerful wind, rain and some hail swept across Indianapolis and moved eastward. Heavy rain and hail turned the Wednesday morning commute into a slow crawl as drivers were dealing with low visibility. Some drivers could be seen pulling off the side of highways, and taking shelter under interstate overpasses.
Quarter-sized hail was reported in the Greenwood area.
As the storm moved eastward, strong wind gusts peeled back the metal roof of a barn just north of Rushville. Nearby neighbors thought they were about to experience a tornado.
“It sounded sort of like a train going through,” said Sexton resident, Larry Miller. “The trees were just almost bent over.”
“And it was almost like a hurricane coming through the country roads,” said Ted Shelton.
Even DeWitt, who lives down the road from the damaged barn, had just pulled under his car port when the wind really picked up.
“About that time a car mat came flying through the air,” DeWitt said. “I just stood there. I didn’t know whether to run or sit, so I ran.”
National Weather Service observers don’t believe there was any tornado activity Wednesday morning. They estimate wind gusts were blowing up to 50 miles per hour in the area of Rushville at the height of the storm.
Weather Authority meteorologists were forecasting more storms through central Indiana Wednesday evening and into Thursday.