MICHIGAN CITY – Storms with gusty winds that blew through Northwest Indiana on Thursday morning left a lot of La Porte County residents without power, many caused by trees or limbs falling onto power lines.

"NIPSCO's service area experienced storms and sustained high winds through the late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning hours," utility spokesman Rick Calinski said Thursday afternoon. "These winds caused many tree-related power outages.

"Trees and large limbs took down power lines across Lake, Porter and La Porte counties," he said. "About 6,000 customers experienced an electric service interruption by these storms."

The hardest hit areas in La Porte County included the Michigan City / Trail Creek area, where about 1,200 customers had lost power by about 9 a.m.; La Porte, where another 1,200 were in the dark starting shortly after 8 a.m.; and Westville, where over 900 people experienced outages that started around 8:30 a.m.

The power outages in La Porte also left a couple of intersections with no traffic lights, according to the Indiana Department of Transportation. Traffic signals were reported out on U.S. 35 at the intersections of Truesdell/Weller, NewPorte Boulevard and Lincoln Way for several hours.

All available NIPSCO crews were sent out to restore service, and as of about 6 p.m., all but about 950 customers had power restored, with just over 50 of those in La Porte County.

Just before 8 p.m., the utility reported only 34 customers in Michigan City, and 23 in La Porte, had no power. Power was fully restored in Westville by about 1:45 p.m.

NIPSCO expected to have all customers restored by late Thursday evening, Calinski said.

— From staff reports

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