Storms leave thousands without power in Central Indiana

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WESTFIELD, Ind. — Powerful storms swept Central Indiana Wednesday night leaving thousands in the dark.

Duke Energy spent Thursday working to restore power to thousands of customers in Hamilton County. More than 5,000 Westfield and Carmel residents woke up without power.

“Some customers are going to remain without power for some time,” said Duke Energy, Spokesperson Lew Middleton.

Those in Westfield remember the storms just as they wrapped up a beautiful evening outside.

“First it started with the lightning,” said Westfield Resident, Jennifer Murphy.

She and her family then ran inside after securing their patio furniture. As soon as they closed the door, the winds picked up.

“All of a sudden we see our large tree laying on the ground. It came down with a force its dung itself under the ground in some areas. We lost our power at 8:30,” said Murphy.

They immediately began to worry about food in the midst of a pandemic where they’re asked to stay home by Governor Eric Holcomb. Their power was restored by sunrise. But they were left waking up to clean up debris from the front yard.

Down 161st Street, Urban Vines Winery & Brewery sustained some damage.

“We got a call from the fire department. saying that our fire alarm was going off. But then ended up coming over here and half the roof had blown off. It’s blown off into the neighbors, over the fence, has caused some water damage inside and insulation just everywhere,” said Urban Vines Winery & Brewery, Owner, Emily Herron.

But near 161st and Ditch Road the roads were closed. Ditch Road was closed as crews worked to pick up power poles.

“One area of damage in particular is a long ditch road in the vicinity of 161st street. That’s where about 39 of our high-voltage power poles we’re blown down in the storm last night,” said Middleton.

Those power poles carry power from different substations to distribute to different neighborhoods. If they’re down so is the power. Duke Energy says getting that power restore for those particular poles is a manual process.

“We’ll have to be patient. Understand that this is a process that takes time to get it right and do it safely as well, we have to consider everybody’s safety in this,” said Middleton.

A process with no timeframe while many are under a stay at home orders. Yet grateful for their safety.

“My family is here. we’re safe right now. We breathe one day, take on step at a time each day and hope for the best while praying along the way,” said Murphy.

At 12 p.m., Duke Energy reported more than 5,500 outages in the Carmel and Westfield areas. As of 5 p.m., Duke Energy reported around 1,500 outages in that same area.

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