KOSCIUSKO — While some customers, including those in downtown Warsaw, have seen their electrical power restored, an official for NIPSCO said late Thursday afternoon that power may not be restored to other parts of Kosciusko County until Friday evening, May 24.
Kosciusko REMC also said they expect repairs to continue on Friday.
“KREMC is advising its members to prepare for an extended outage. Though there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is just no telling how long that tunnel is,” said a news release from KREMC issued late Thursday afternoon.
At its peak, it appears as many as 35,000 NIPSCO customers were without power after a strong storm packing winds of 60 mph and more ripped through the northern Indiana region early Thursday morning.
Much of downtown Warsaw — including city hall and county offices — were without power until about 1 p.m. Thursday. City and county offices were closed for the day Thursday but expected to reopen Friday.
The storm passed through Kosciusko County and surrounding areas shortly before 5 a.m., bringing with it straight-line winds that knocked down many trees and power lines.
Large swaths of areas southwest of Warsaw were still without power as of 3 p.m. and there were numbers of small pockets of outages northeast of Warsaw this afternoon.
NIPSCO said the hardest hit areas were in Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaGrange and Newton counties.
As of mid-afternoon, that number had been reduced to less than 10,000 customers across those four counties.
NIPSCO’s Public Affairs Manager Mary Cossey could not say how many customers in Kosciusko County were still without power as of late Thursday afternoon. She said it would be late afternoon or evening on Friday before all power is restored.
NIPSCO is updating outage information online with a map.
Kosciusko REMC is expected to continue repairs through the night and into Friday.
At 4:40 a.m., 9,500 KREMC members lost power due to the severe storm last night. By 8:30 this morning 3,000 members had their power back; another 2,200 got their power back since.
“We’re still looking at 4,600 members without power. The driving force for the extended outage is source related. That being the case, it’s nearly impossible for us to anticipate when our members can expect to be back on.” said Bruce Goslee president and CEO of KREMC.
KREMC announced Thursday afternoon that due to the severity of the damage, surrounding cooperatives were providing assistance in Kosciusko County. Those responding included Northeastern, Miami Cass, Heartland and Jay County REMCs by sending 12 linemen to work toward restoration alongside KREMC crews.
KREMC provides online updates that can be found here.