The weight of ice and high winds caused
this tree limb to buckle and fall onto a
Sunman homeowner's porch.
submitted by Amy Eckstein Hoegeman
Update at 7:12 p.m.:
From Southeast Indiana REMC...
"At 5:00 p.m. the number of outages had been reduced to approximately 600 members still without power. At 5:10 p.m. we were notified that a tree had went thru a major circuit fed out of the Sunman substation putting 270 members east of Sunman towards Lawrenceville out of service. This has been a recurring event since the storm hit Tuesday evening.
Outages still remain in the St. Leon, Highland Center, St. Peters, Brookville and Lawrencville areas as well as those areas around Sunman, Penntown and Batesville. Outages still exist in the Nebraska, IN area and north of US 50.
As a precautionary measure, if you do not have electric power restored to your home or business by 5:30 p.m. Wed. evening, you may want to make plans to seek shelter elsewhere tonight.
Most crews have been working for 18 hours plus, and will require a period of rest. They will be called in around 8:00 p.m. and will report for work at 7:00 a.m. Thursday morning."
Update at 3:07 p.m.:
Approximately 1,100 Southeast Indiana REMC customers are without power as of 2:30 according to company spokesman Barry Lauber.
About 500 members remain out of service in the St. Leon, Highland Center, St. Peters, Brookville and Lawrenceville communities in Franklin County. Meanwhile, 300 members remain out of service in the Sunman, Penntown, and Batesville area.
"Although we are optimistic that many more members power will be restored yet today, it is obvious that due to the extent of damage in some of the aforementioned areas, their power will not be restored tonight," said Lauber.
"As a precautionary measure, if you do not have electric power restored to your home or business by 5 p.m. today, you may want to make plans to seek shelter elsewhere tonight. Crews will continue to work into the night but it becomes much more difficult to restore power lines buried in ice and trees after dark," Lauber added.
Duke Energy reports less than 1,000 outages in Hamilton County, Oh. as of 3:00 p.m. Those crews have also made headway in southeast Indiana. There are less than 600 outages for Duke customers in Dearborn County, about 900 in Franklin County, and less than 100 in Ripley County.
An example of how ice brought many
trees and branches down across the tri-
submitted by Amy Eckstein Hoegeman
Update posted at 11:16 a.m.:
Southeast Indiana REMC has lost ground in restoring power to its member owners Wednesday morning.
The utility company did have the outage number below 2,000 before 8:00, but by 10:30 that number had shot up again to 2,800.
"This ice and snow on the limbs that freeze continues to be a problem for us," said REMC spokesman Barry Lauber.
1,700 outages are focused in the area of St. Leon, St. Peters, and Lawrenceville. About 350 members were out in communities along State Road 46.
There are also isolated outages spread around the utility's seven county service area which includes Dearborn, Franklin, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, and Switzerland counties.
Several people have reported trouble getting through by phone to SEI REMC to report their outage. Lauber says 11 people are at their base office in Osgood to take the calls, but the volume has been high.
As an alternative, REMC customers can report their outage through the website www.seiremc.com. Updates on outages are also available for viewing online.
Duke Energy says nearly all outages in Switzerland County have been restored. Four substations had broken down overnight Tuesday into Wednesday causing over 1,000 outages.
There are still close to 1,000 Duke outages in Franklin County, nearly 600 in Dearborn County, and over 200 in Ripley County.
Update posted at 7:50 a.m.:
Southeast Indiana REMC currently reports about 1,900 outages throughout their seven county service area.
"This thing went back and forth all night because of ice melting and winds picking up," said REMC spokesperson Barry Lauber. "We were up close to 3,000 outages at one time then it would go back down to 1,000 and back up because of the trees."
The worst hit areas have been northern Ripley and Dearborn counties, as well as a good chunk of Franklin County.
Lauber says crews will be sent out Wednesday morning to get back at repairing the outages. He was hopeful most customers would have power restored sometime Wednesday but did not give a definite timeline as the utility company is still assessing the damage.
"We're trying to get power lines back up because we had ice on them, trees laying in them, and high winds last night. That's a deadly combination for a electric cooperative when you put all that together," Lauber said.
People who come across downed power lines should stay clear and not attempt to move them. Call Southeast Indiana REMC to report a downed line or outage at 800-737-4111.
Duke Energy is reporting a growing number of outages in Franklin County, now near 1,000 customers affected. Power restoration has not budged much in Switzerland County throughout the morning with still over 1,000 outages there.
Duke Energy customers are encouraged to call 800-343-3525 to report outages.
Original story posted at 6:14 a.m.:
(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) - Ice gripping to tree branches and winds gusting up to 45 MPH has been wreaking havoc on power lines across the Tri-State Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.
Southeast Indiana REMC spokesperson Barry Lauber told Eagle 99.3 late Tuesday night the utility company had as many as 1,000 customers offline late Tuesday night throughout the seven counties they serve. Hard hit areas include western Ripley County, Bright, and other areas north of U.S. 50.
REMC had four crews working throughout the night to restore outages. Lauber said in these situations the company will often call in support crews from other areas, but with much of Indiana seeing even worse winter weather that won’t be likely this time.
Duke Energy reported 1,000 outages in Switzerland County alone early Wednesday. The outages were bad enough to force Switzerland County Community Schools to close for the day.
Duke reports another 600 outages in Dearborn County, 200 in Ripley County, and 800-plus in Franklin County.
Lauber said this outage situation could have been much worse for SEI REMC. Following an ice storm and Hurricane Ike in 2008, many residents in recent years have cooperated with the utility company by allowing them to trim back tree branches looming over power lines, which also cut down the potential for branches to fall and take the lines down with them.
Travel is still a rough go in many areas north. The difficulty of getting around with ice sticking to the roads is compounded by downed trees and branches in the way.
Franklin County remains under a Level 3 Travel Emergency, meaning only be on the roads if it is an emergency. The City of Batesville instituted a Level 3 Tuesday night.
The northwest Ripley County city has been one of the areas in southeast Indiana taking the brunt of the ice storm. Hundreds of workers at Hill Rom and Batesville Casket Company have had their shifts cancelled as a result of icy roads and power outages.
Dearborn County is on a Level 1 Travel Emergency which urges drivers to use caution.
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory until 6:00 p.m. Wednesday. Gusts will be their strongest during the morning through the early afternoon.