Monday morning’s storm blew trees down and knocked out power in several neighborhoods in South Bend and across Michiana. I&M Power is saying restoration efforts could take several days in some areas.
National Weather Service meteorologist Lonnie Fisher says there are no immediate reports of damage from the line of thunderstorms Monday morning other than trees and power lines being down. He says winds of more than 60 mph were reported in many areas of northern Indiana, with a gust of 81 mph reported southeast of Mishawaka at 10:30 a.m.
Clay Fire Territory evacuated seven homes after a large tree was uprooted by the storm in the 53000 block of Oakmont East in Clay Township north of Notre Dame.
A natural gas “service line” was pulled up by the tree causing natural gas to seep into one home.
Gas was shut off while fire crews waited on I&M to shut off power before they went inside.
According to a Tribune reporter, storm damaged forced the closing of Ironwood Drive north of Douglas due to a downed tree. Power continues to be down throughout South Bend and St. Joseph County, forcing many traffic lights to be out -- including at the "five-points" intersection -- where Eddy Street, South Bend Avenue and Corby Boulevard meet.
According to police and emergency personnel radio, several roads across the region have been blocked by downed power lines or trees. Traffic delays were expected throughout the early afternoon as power was restored.
Midwest Energy Cooperative says thousands of customers are without power. The areas most heavily affected at this time include Cassopolis, Dowagiac, Marcellus, Decatur, Lawton, Schoolcraft, Mattawan, Paw Paw and Bloomingdale.
UPDATE: According to an I&M spokesman, "Restoration efforts will take several days in southwest Michigan and northwest Indiana. I&M currently estimates restoration in Michigan to take until Friday evening. For the greater South Bend area, I&M estimates restoration to continue into Thursday evening. In the Elkhart area, restoration will continue through Wednesday evening. And in northeast Indiana, restoration will continue through noon on Tuesday."
As of 7 p.m., I&M Power is reporting the following number of customers are without power:
Berrien County: 14,823
Van Buren County: 11,903
Cass County: 4,078
LaPorte County: 1,635
St. Joseph County, Ind.: 10,545
St. Joseph County, Mich.: 2,230
Elkhart County: 3,749