(Photos Courtesy of the Indiana State Police Lowell Post;
Above: Sgt. Bill Jones. Below: Detective Brian McCall)
Two region residents with Indiana State Police's Lowell Post now have new titles. 42 year old Corp. Bill Jones was promoted today to the rank of Sergeant and transferred to the Toll Road District to serve as a District Squad Leader. Jones is a 1989 graduate of Gary West Side High School and the recipient of the ISP Firearms “Possible Club” award.
39 year old Senior Trooper Brian McCall was transferred to Criminal Investigation today and reassigned as a detective. McCall is a 1992 graduate of Crown Point High School who was awarded a Life Saving Award in 2012 and was “Trooper of the Year” in 2008. Both men currently reside in Lake County.
An area around 145th Street and Baring Avenue in East Chicago that was evacuated earlier this afternoon due to a gas leak has been lifted. City officials gave residents the “all-clear” just before 3:30pm. The leak was reportedly the result of a contractor striking a gas main in that area. As a precaution, Benjamin Harrison Elementary was put on lock down and no injuries were reported. The surrounding two blocks around 145th and Baring Avenue were closed to traffic as a result of the gas leak. ...
Damage reports are still coming in after yesterday's day of rough weather in the Midwest. ABC News reports besides the six people who were killed as the swarm of tornadoes swept through Illinois, officials in Michigan say two more died in that state. The most violent storm may have touched down in the town of Washington, Illinois, 140 miles west of Chicago. As many as 500 homes were destroyed by an EF-4 tornado packing winds of 170 to 190 miles per hour. Meanwhile the tornado that ripped through Washington, Illinois, threw debris more than 100 miles away. Ann Ortman lives in Shorewood, Illinois, and was picking up tree branches in her yard when she came across a piece of paper... "I unfolded this piece of paper, and it was actually a check dated December 18, 1994. And it was from someone that lives in Washington, Illinois." Ortman lives about 110 miles away. She says she hopes the owner of the check is okay. She would like to return the check. ...
Several fire departments were called out at approximately 5:17 this morning to a residential fire in the 600 block of East Old Chicago Road, in Pine Township, in far northeast Porter County. Sgt. Larry LaFlower, of the Porter County Sheriff's Office, reports 40 year old Christopher Battishill was arrested and charged for actively interfering with firemen who were trying to extinguish the blaze. LaFlower says the cause of the fire remains under investigation, as does any alleged involvement on the part of Battishill, who also had an outstanding warrant for failure to comply with probation. New charges could be forthcoming once an investigation is complete....
Officials in East Chicago say firefighters have evacuated residents near 145th Street and Baring Avenue due to a gas leak after a main was struck around noon today. As precaution, Benjamin Harrison Elementary was locked down and no injuries have been reported. No further information is available at this time....
Until then, Stuckert says they encourage Porter County residents to bring in their organic yard waste, such as leaves, brush, garden and household plants, limbs, logs and firewood and live fall decorations like pumpkins, gourds, corn and mums, to the compost sites where it will be incorporated into the windrows which is used to create large amounts of finished compost and mulch.
No treated wood or lumber of any kind are accepted at either site and grass is only accepted at the Boone Grove location. Residents are also asked to remove plastic bags and other containers when dropping off materials. For more information visit http://www.itmeanstheworld.org/ or click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/...
The cause of a gas leak reported around 145th Street in East Chicago is unknown at this time. NIPSCO crews reportedly arrived at the scene around noon and the surrounding two-blocks around 145th and Barring Avenue are closed as a result. At last check no injuries and no evacuation had been been reported. ...
Hoosiers who sustained damage caused by severe weather on November 17 can report damage online at: https://myoracle.in.gov/hs/damage/ia-public.do?method=active&incidentId=IA20131118083856
A link to the form is also available on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) website at in.gov/dhs . In the middle of the page under "Featured Topics," click on "Report Damage from Severe Weather - November 17"
Individuals will be asked to provide their name, address, phone number and type of damage the property sustained. Losses can include structural damage to homes and loss of personal property.
For questions, contact your county emergency management agency. Local agency's contact information is available at http://www.in.gov/dhs/2797.htm
IF YOU DO NOT HAVE INTERNET ACCESS
Individuals without Internet access are encouraged to contact a friend, family member or neighbor for assistance. Web access is also available at many libraries, religious institutions, community centers or other public facilities. If none of those options are available, individuals may also contact their county emergency management agency to report damage.
THIS REPORT IS NOT AN APPLICATION FOR ANY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
This is NOT an application for a grant with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Information will be used to help local emergency management agencies and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security preliminarily assess damage to determine if federal assistance can be pursued....
Cedar Lake Police Chief Jerry Smith says 141st Ave is closed between US 41 and the new Middle School. Parents and buses can still access the middle school on 141st Ave from Parrish Avenue.
In Chicago, storms interrupted the Bears-Ravens game. At Soldier Field, the heavy downpour and violent winds caught 60 thousand people in the stands. With lightning striking nearby, officials made a call on the field. The game was delayed about two hours as fans packed into the concourse area of the stadium for safety.
The strongest tornado in southern Illinois had winds up to 200 miles per hour. In Pekin, Illinois about 130 homes were damaged - and about 40 of them were destroyed.
In the town of Washington, Illinois, blocks have been flattened, left unrecognizable by storm damage.
Immediately following the second wave of storms, blue sky, then sun, and a double rainbow. The storm left behind hour long delays at O'Hare....
Northern Indiana Public Service company says initial assessments indicate storm damage includes three damaged transmission towers, more than 120 broken poles, numerous downed lines and broken cross arms and hundreds of downed trees and limbs. NIPSCO says more than 75-thousand customers were affected; as of 5am, that number was down to about 12-thousand across their service territory, with about 23-hundred in the Lowell area and about a-thousand in the Valparaiso area.
All available NIPSCO field personnel were working overnight Sunday night into Monday morning to access damage to the electric system and restore power to customers. While NIPSCO crews will be working around the clock to safely return service to affected customers, the utility company says it will be late Monday afternoon before solid estimated restoration times for areas with the most system damage will be completed and it may be multiple days before all customers are restored.
KV REMC says approximately 870 members remain without power this morning. At the peak of the storm Sunday evening,over 5,000 members were without power. Crews continue to work through the service territory making repairs to the system and in most cases replacing the many broken poles. Tree trimming contractors also continue to assist in the removal of tree debris allowing for our crews to work safely in the harder hit areas....
In Pine Township this morning, the fire department has reportedly struck a first alarm for a residential fire on Old Chicago Road, unconfirmed reports the structure was fully involved. Crews responded at about 5:15 am....
Indiana State Police are urging Hoosier motorists to stay away from downed power lines. Nearly 50,000 people are without power in Northwest Indiana alone, and many others are without power across the state after severe storms today. [Photo/Indiana State Police, Public Information Offce]...
Emergency management officials are currently reporting no injuries after a tornado struck part of far southeastern Newton County early Sunday afternoon, according to a report to the National Weather Service in Chicago. There is damage to grain bins, and what was described as minor structural damage to homes in the town of Goodland. Utility poles and trees are down. Officials say the tornado touched down near US 24 and Newton Street.
Utility pole and tree damage is being seen around Northwest Indiana. In Chesterton, a trained spotter reported winds measuring 80 miles-per-hour, with large limbs and power lines down.
As of 4 pm CST today, over 42-thousand NIPSCO customers have lost power, including over 9,700 in the Valparaiso area, 4,700 in Portage, 4,500 in Lowell, 2,500 in Michigan City, 2,100 in East Chicago, over 2,000 across Hammond and Highland, 1,700 in Chesterton, 1,400 in Munster, 1,200 in Gary, and 1,100 in Merrillville.
As storms traveled through the KV REMC service territory, widespread outages have resulted in over 4,100 members without power.
Region residents are urged to stay clear of all downed power lines.
The Region News Team received a report of at least eight power poles down in the area of the I-65/US 231 interchange in Crown Point, along an earlier report of lines down on the interstate and US 231. [Photo/Indiana Department of Transportation camera]
At 2:27pm: INDOT reports:
The ramp of northbound I-65 is closed near US 231 due to a traffic hazard. Seek alternate routes as you travel northbound on I-65 near mile 247.
The ramp of southbound I-65 is closed near US 231 due to a traffic hazard. Seek alternate routes as you travel southbound on I-65 near mile 247.
We are receviing multiple reports of trees and lines and power poles down across the Region.
Other reports from tipsters into the newsroom:
Left lane of southbound I-65 closed at US 30 due to a crash.
Trees, lines were blocking entrance to Lakes of the Four Seasons
Tree down on Vale Park Rd in Valparaiso just west of State Road 49 in front of The Masters apartment complex earlier (134pm cst)
As of 2:35 pm, NIPSCO was reporting over 28-thousand customers without power....
- Spotter Confirmed Tornado Near Frankfort Illinois
- Tornado Warning Issued
- Severe Thunderstorms Heading Toward Soldier Field
- Severe Weather: Limit Travel, Talk About Your Plan
- Wind Ban Issued for Indiana Toll Road
- Chicago Cautions Bears Fans of Severe Weather Threat
- Tornado Watch, High Wind Warnings Issued
- Late Fall Severe Weather Possible in NW Indiana
- Investigations Continue into Fatal Accident at Steel Mill
- Donnelly: New EPA Rule Will Hurt Indiana Economy
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