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Governor Pence to Tour Storm Damage

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Governor Mike Pence today will tour Indiana communities hit by severe storms Sunday.  Stops include Kokomo, Logansport, Lafayette, and Washington.  The National Weather Service is sending out survey teams to areas of significant damage in northern Indiana and elsewhere in the state to assess whether damage was caused by tornadoes or straight-line winds during thunderstorms....

Read more: Governor Pence to Tour Storm Damage

 

Road Closed in Cedar Lake Near Middle School

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Traffic-Advisory
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.
...

Read more: Road Closed in Cedar Lake Near Middle School

 

Power Outage Closes Two Schools

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Duneland School officials say Brummitt Elementary School and Jackson Elementary School are closed due to no power today (Monday November 18 2013)....

Read more: Power Outage Closes Two Schools

 

Six Dead in Illinois After Violent Weather

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Severe thunderstorms accompanied by more than eighty tornadoes swept across the Midwest Sunday.  Violent storms normally associated with springtime struck a week-and-a-half before Thanksgiving. Six people were killed. 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 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....

Read more: Six Dead in Illinois After Violent Weather

 

Cleanup Continues After Severe Weather

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A strong storm system knocked down trees and utility poles around northwest Indiana Sunday, and knocked out power to tens of thousands in the Region. A roof was blown off a home at Lakes of the Four Seasons, and we had word of a 40 foot pine tree uprooted in the 2100 block of Crockett Avenue in Valparaiso. A barn was reported destroyed on Morse Street in Lowell. There were no reports of injuries there.
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....

Read more: Cleanup Continues After Severe Weather

 

Structure Fire in Pine Township

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Breaking News
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....

Read more: Structure Fire in Pine Township

 

Police: Stay Away from Downed Lines

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downed lines
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]...

Read more: Police: Stay Away from Downed Lines

 

Power Outages Top 46,000, High Winds Still Possible

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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.
www.nipsco.com
http://www.kvremc.com/home.aspx...

Read more: Power Outages Top 46,000, High Winds Still Possible

 

Storm Damage in Region, 28,000 Without Power

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65
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....

Read more: Storm Damage in Region, 28,000 Without Power

 

Spotter Confirmed Tornado Near Frankfort Illinois

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From National Weather Service Chicago:
SEVERE WEATHER STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL 1253 PM CST SUN NOV 17 2013 ILC031-197-INC089-171930- /O.CON.KLOT.TO.W.0018.000000T0000Z-131117T1930Z/ WILL IL-COOK IL-LAKE IN- 1253 PM CST SUN NOV 17 2013 ...A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FOR NORTHERN LAKE... SOUTHEASTERN COOK AND CENTRAL WILL COUNTIES UNTIL 130 PM CST... AT 1251 PM CST...A CONFIRMED TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR FRANKFORT...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 60 MPH. HAZARD...DAMAGING TORNADO AND GOLF BALL SIZE HAIL. SOURCE...WEATHER SPOTTERS CONFIRMED TORNADO. IMPACT...MOBILE HOMES WILL BE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. DAMAGE TO ROOFS...WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL OCCUR. FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DEADLY TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS. TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY. THIS TORNADIC STORM WILL BE NEAR... HARVEY AND PHOENIX AROUND 100 PM CST. DOLTON AND BURNHAM AROUND 105 PM CST. WHITING AND EAST CHICAGO AROUND 110 PM CST. OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE EAST HAZEL CREST AND RIVERDALE. THIS INCLUDES THE CITY OF CHICAGO. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... TO REPEAT...A TORNADO IS ON THE GROUND. TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS....

Read more: Spotter Confirmed Tornado Near Frankfort Illinois

 

Tornado Warning Issued

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From the National Weather Service Chicago:  http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/
TORNADO WARNING ILC031-197-INC089-171930- /O.NEW.KLOT.TO.W.0018.131117T1846Z-131117T1930Z/ BULLETIN - EAS ACTIVATION REQUESTED TORNADO WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL 1246 PM CST SUN NOV 17 2013 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A * TORNADO WARNING FOR... SOUTHEASTERN COOK COUNTY IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS... EAST CENTRAL WILL COUNTY IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS... NORTHERN LAKE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... * UNTIL 130 PM CST *
AT 1240 PM CST...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR MANHATTAN...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 60 MPH.
HAZARD...TORNADO. SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED ROTATION. IMPACT...MOBILE HOMES WILL BE DAMAGED OR DESTROYED. DAMAGE TO ROOFS...WINDOWS AND VEHICLES WILL OCCUR. FLYING DEBRIS WILL BE DEADLY TO PEOPLE AND ANIMALS. TREE DAMAGE IS LIKELY.
* THIS DANGEROUS STORM WILL BE NEAR... FRANKFORT AND MONEE AROUND 1250 PM CST. OLYMPIA FIELDS AND RICHTON PARK AROUND 1255 PM CST. GLENWOOD AND FLOSSMOOR AROUND 100 PM CST. CALUMET CITY AND LANSING AROUND 105 PM CST. HAMMOND AND EAST CHICAGO AROUND 110 PM CST. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING. AVOID WINDOWS. IF IN A MOBILE HOME...A VEHICLE OR OUTDOORS...MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS....

Read more: Tornado Warning Issued

   

Severe Thunderstorms Heading Toward Soldier Field

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A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for... Cook county in northeast illinois... North central will county in northeast illinois... Extreme northwestern lake county in northwest indiana... * until 115 pm cst * .  Soldier Field is in the path of these storms.  
National Weather Service Chicago: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/
More info from the National Weather Service Chicago:
at 1224 pm cst...SEVERE Thunderstorms were located along a line extending from montrose harbor to forest view to willow springs... And moving east at 30 mph. Hazard...QUARTER Size hail and 60 mph wind gusts. Source...RADAR Indicated. Impact...HAIL Damage to vehicles is expected. Expect wind damage to roofs...SIDING And trees.
* severe thunderstorms will be near... Worth and oak lawn around 1235 pm cst. Midlothian and evergreen park around 1240 pm cst. Posen and merrionette park around 1245 pm cst. Chatham around 1250 pm cst. Burnham around 100 pm cst. Whiting around 105 pm cst. Other locations in the warning include palos heights...HOMETOWN... Robbins...CALUMET Park...RIVERDALE And south chicago. This includes the city of chicago.
Soldier field is in the path of these storms...EVERYONE At soldier field needs to take shelter immediately and should prepare for dangerous weather conditions! Precautionary/preparedness actions... A tornado watch remains in effect for the warned area. Tornadoes can develop quickly from severe thunderstorms. Although one is not immediately likely...IF A tornado is spotted...ACT Quickly and move to a place of safety inside a sturdy structure...SUCH As a basement or small interior room. ...

Read more: Severe Thunderstorms Heading Toward Soldier Field

   

Severe Weather: Limit Travel, Talk About Your Plan

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With most of Indiana under a high risk of severe weather, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security is warning Hoosiers to stay home if possible.  Officials say thunderstorms, flash floods, and tornadoes can all appear suddenly with little warning, and may only last a few minutes, but have the strength and power to cause a great amount of damage. Make sure to have a severe weather plan in place.  Hoosiers are advised to talk to family members about what you'll do to shelter in your home and what you'll do if you need to evacuate.
 
Below are tips on preparedness for severe weather from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security:
Postpone or cancel outdoor activities and listen to weather reports on the radio or television.
Monitor developing conditions on local media or with a weather radio.
Seek shelter inside a building or in a hardtop vehicle, but do not touch the metal inside.
Do NOT go near tall trees or any other tall objects, or near downed power lines.
Do NOT go under overpasses. Wind speeds increase and can cause serious injuries.
If in a vehicle, get out and go into a strong building if possible. If not, lie in a flat ditch or low area and cover your head. Be aware of low lying areas that may flood.
If you live in a mobile home, get out immediately. Shelter in a building with a strong foundation.
If caught out in the middle of a body of water, return to shore as soon as possible.
Basements, inner rooms, and storm cellars provide the best protection during a thunderstorm or tornado. Stay in the center of the room, away from doors and windows.
For more information, go to www.getprepared.in.gov  ....

Read more: Severe Weather: Limit Travel, Talk About Your Plan

   

Wind Ban Issued for Indiana Toll Road

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Traffic-Alert
The Indiana Toll Road has banned all triple, long-double and high-profile oversize permit loads (excluding low-profile steel haulers) for the entire length of the Indiana Toll Road through Monday, November 18, 2013, 1:00 am EST due to the threat of high winds. Toll road officials say the ban will be reevaluated Monday morning, November 18, 2013 at 1:00 am EST for possible extension....

Read more: Wind Ban Issued for Indiana Toll Road

   

Chicago Cautions Bears Fans of Severe Weather Threat

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The National Weather Service warns severe thunderstorms are expected to roll across parts of the Midwest today (Sunday) producing damaging wind, hail, and tornadoes. Storm Prediction Center Meteorologist Corey Mead told ABC News a number of large cities are in the path of the storms: "Chicago; Indianapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; and possibly Louisville, Kentucky." 
Chicago National Weather Service website: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/
The Chicago Office of Emergency Management issued an alert for those attending the Bears game in Chicago today, cautioning fans that " storms are expected to have strong, damaging winds up to and possibly in excess of 70 mph.They may also bring heavy rainfall, localized flooding, large hail and cloud-to-ground lightning. Isolated tornadoes are also possible. Bears fans are urged to take extra precautions and take the appropiate measures to ensure their personal safety ... with the most severe weather impacting the city between noon and 3 p.m."
http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/oem/provdrs/emerg_mang/alerts/2013/jun/city_reminds_chicagoansofextremesummerweatherprecautions.html...

Read more: Chicago Cautions Bears Fans of Severe Weather Threat

   

Tornado Watch, High Wind Warnings Issued

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A Tornado Watch and High Wind Warning have been issued for Northwest Indiana.  For details, visit: Chicago Natonal Weather Service: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/

Read more: Tornado Watch, High Wind Warnings Issued

   

Late Fall Severe Weather Possible in NW Indiana

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We could see late Fall severe weather in the Region this weekend.  Temperatures in the low 60s today and upper 60s Sunday are expected, and some storms may become severe, especially Sunday, with damaging winds and large hail possible.  Forecasters say an isolated tornado is also possible. A strong cold front will move across the area, with cooler temperatures expected back in northwest Indiana Sunday night.
National Weather Service Chicago: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/
National Weather Service Northern Indiana: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/iwx/...

Read more: Late Fall Severe Weather Possible in NW Indiana

   

Investigations Continue into Fatal Accident at Steel Mill

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 Multiple investigations continue into an accident at a northwest Indiana steel mill that claimed the life of an ironworker and injured two others from Pangere Corporation this week. Reports say a falling metal plate at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor West in East Chicago early Wednesday claimed the life of 39-year-old Michael Samuelson of Valparaiso. The Lake County Coroner's office reported Samuelson suffered blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene. His death was ruled accidental. Two other contractors were taken to a local hospital where they were reportedly in stable condition as of Friday.

...

Read more: Investigations Continue into Fatal Accident at Steel Mill

   

Donnelly: New EPA Rule Will Hurt Indiana Economy

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us senator joe donnelly
Indiana Democrat US Senator Joe Donnelly Friday responded to the Environmental Protection Agency announcement that the agency reduce the requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard [RFS] for 2014, which is the law requiring a certain volume of renewable fuel in the overall fuel supply sold in the United States.  Renewable fuels include ethanol, cellulosic biofuel, biomass biodiesel, and other advanced biodiesels.
“The production and use of biofuels that are grown and developed right here at home helps our economy and increases our national security by lessening our dependence on foreign oil,” said Donnelly.  “I am frustrated and disappointed that the EPA has lowered the volume of renewable fuels required in our overall fuel supply.  Cutting the volume of renewable fuels required in our transportation fuel will hurt Indiana workers and hurt Indiana’s economy.”
Donnelly's ofice says the RFS was first established in 2005 and updated in 2007 to ensure a minimum level of renewable energy use in our transportation fuel supply.  The 2013 requirements were 13.8 billion gallons of ethanol and 2.75 billion gallons of other advanced biofuels.  Under law, the 2014 requirements are set at 14.4 billion gallons of ethanol and 3.75 billion gallons of other advanced biofuels.  The new 2014 requirements announced by EPA today would lower the requirements to 13.01 billion gallons of ethanol and 2.2 billion gallons of other advanced biofuels....

Read more: Donnelly: New EPA Rule Will Hurt Indiana Economy

   

Officers Increase Enforcement of Caviar Regulations

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caviarone
More than a dozen caviar fishermen on the Wabash River from Indiana and Illinois have been arrested,cited, or warned in the past year. Conservation officers from both states have stepped up their patrols in the commercial fishing industry, especially in the harvest of shovelnose sturgeon, a fish sought after for its roe, or eggs. Officers say violations have included unlawful use of certain equipment, fishing with an illegal device, and fishing without a license. Master Officer Steve Kline says at least twenty-five additional violations are being investigated for prosecution, involving several other individuals from both states.  [Photos/provided]
caviartwo
Indiana DNR Law Enforcement News Release: Law enforcement officers from Indiana and Illinois have increased their enforcement efforts of domestic caviar regulations since the onset of the 2012-13 Wabash River shovelnose sturgeon season. Conservation Officers from both Indiana and Illinois have recently stepped up their patrols in the commercial fishing industry, particularly in the commercial harvest of shovelnose sturgeon, which is a fish that is sought after for its roe (eggs). 13 persons from both Indiana and Illinois have been arrested, cited, or warned for commercial fishing violations in the last year. Equipment seizures include 35 commercial fishing nets, three trot lines, 2 wire fish traps, and one boat/motor. These violations include:

• Unlawful use of a gill net (6 counts)
• Failure to tag commercial fishing equipment (7 counts)
• Unlawful use of leads on commercial device (2 counts)
• Unlawful possession of sturgeon under 25” (4 counts)
• Fishing with an illegal device (wire trap) (2 counts)
• Fishing without a license (3 counts)
• Checking sturgeon for presence of eggs with an illegal device (2 counts)

A combined effort between Indiana Conservation Officers and Illinois Conservation Police took place as a result of a number of citizen complaints along the boundary waters of the Wabash River, where shovelnose sturgeon are found. These investigations involved assets from both states, and included river patrols, intelligence gathering and surveillance. “Since we share the fisheries resources with the people of the State of Illinois, it only makes sense to ensure that our regulations and enforcement efforts remain similar,” says Master Officer Steve Kinne, a commercial fishing investigator for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “At least 25 additional violations are being investigated for prosecution, involving several other individuals from both states.”

The shovelnose sturgeon is a fish that is native to the waters of the Mississippi, Illinois, and Wabash Rivers. Although some sport fishermen consume the meat from shovelnose sturgeon, it is the eggs that have been targeted by commercial fishermen in recent years, because of the collapse of the European sturgeon market. Supplies of roe collected from sturgeon in the Caspian Sea plummeted after government deregulation in that region.

Female shovelnose sturgeon living in the Wabash River migrate upstream annually to spawn, or to lay their eggs. These eggs, referred to as roe, are eventually sold, processed, and distributed as caviar. Processed shovelnose sturgeon roe (eggs), commonly referred to as hackleback caviar, currently has a retail market value of approximately $320 / pound. One adult roe-bearing sturgeon can contain as much as one pound of eggs.

“The Wabash River population of shovelnose sturgeon is one of the last commercially exploited sturgeon populations in the world, therefore, strict enforcement of regulations are necessary to ensure proper management while allowing a sustainable harvest,” says Craig Jansen, Big Rivers Assistant Fisheries Biologist of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

Commercial fishermen in both states are allowed to take shovelnose sturgeon with approved commercial fishing devices on the Wabash River, as long as they possess the required licenses. Illinois roe harvesters are required to have an Illinois commercial fishing license, an Illinois roe harvester license, and a sport fishing license. Indiana roe harvesters fishing on the Wabash River are required to have an Indiana commercial fishing license and an Indiana roe harvester license. Approved commercial fishing devices in either state include, but are not limited to, hoop nets, fyke nets, basket nets, and basket traps, or trap nets made of twine or cord. Gill nets are prohibited in both states for taking sturgeon. For additional information on commercial fishing regulations and season dates, go to www.in.gov/dnr or www.dnr.state.il.us

All suspects in this investigation are presumed innocent until proven guilty....

Read more: Officers Increase Enforcement of Caviar Regulations

   

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