IPL working to restore power after storm, while homeowners pick up the pieces

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Storms swept across central Indiana Thursday, leaving widespread damage across Marion County. Some homeowners in the Broad Ripple area describe it as something they’ve never seen before.

“Only on television, never in my front yard,” Delphine Burton said.

But when Burton stepped outside, it was real.

“The storm had started and I heard a really loud crack, and then I heard something just like a boom. And I was just like oh that doesn’t sound good. So I walked out and looked out my living room and this is what I saw,” Burton said.

Her neighbor’s tree snapped in half, landing in her front yard, even knocking down a portion of her railing. The tree brought down three power poles, closed Keystone Avenue and left Burton trapped inside her home.

“I couldn’t get out to go to work this morning. That cost me a day’s pay and now I don’t know if I got to pay to have somebody removed this or he should have to pay someone to remove this, seeing that it is his tree. I’m just kind of waiting around to see what’s going to happen,” Burton says.

Meanwhile, residents on Sylvan Ridge Road are waiting for the lights to come back on.

“We’ve got a lot of damage in this northeast quadrant of Marion County,” said Mike Holtsclaw, Director of Transmission Distribution Operations of Indianapolis Power and Light.

The storm left more than 30,000 without power. IPL worked through the night the get mainline circuits restored but there’s more work to be done.

“Well, obviously our role is to get the power back on. Where trees have come down on our lines, we’ll bring tree crews in and we’ll cut enough of the vegetation away to get our wire back up in the air,” Holtsclaw said.

One resident who did not want to be identified says he's used to it. Last summer he lost power for four days. As for who’s responsible for the repairs, it depends on the damage.

“If a customer’s services are damaged, the wire is our responsibility, the meter base and the riser conduit is the responsibility of the customer. So if trees come down and it's taken their services line down and pulled the meter, meter base, and riser off. We’ll disconnect things to make it safe,” Holtsclaw says.

They’ve brought in additional resources from southern Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio to help customers find light during this difficult time.

“We’ve brought in additional resources to help us to try to get everybody back in as quickly as we can,” Hotlsclaw says.

As of 7 p.m. Friday, IPL says 6,000 customers are still without power. Their goal is to have all power restored before the weekend is over.

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