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Press the play button to hear the latest news from THE REGION.
Cleanup continues today around the Region after severe storms hit the area Wednesday night.
It was just two years ago, almost to the day, that Route 2 was shut down between Lowell and Hebron after powerful storms came through and toppled huge transformer towers just east of I-65. Today, the Indiana Department of Transportation says State Road 2 between Hebron and Lowell could be closed up to three days because of downed power lines east of the interstate after last night's severe weather. There is also a lot of debris in the Crown Point/Lakes of Four Seasons area. INDOT crews are patrolling state roads around the northwest Indiana district looking for high water and debris. Officials say it takes just inches to float a car and the results could be deadly – they're urging Region motorists to stay away from high water.
Today the National Weather Service was considering whether or not to visit the Lakes of the Four Seasons/Winfield area, to survey damage from last night's storm. A roof blew off a home in the 11-hundred block of Sunnyslope Drive. No injuries reported. A number of trees were down along 109th Street not far from the entrance to Lakes of the Four Seasons.
The National Weather Service in Northern Indiana is gathering reports on wind damage, in particular from an area from Medaryville in Pulaski County here in northwest Indiana all the way east to Ohio. Golf ball size hail was reported near Winamac around 7:30 Eastern Time last night, lasting for a couple minutes, with minor damage to vehicles, according to a spotter report.
NIPSCO crews have been working around the clock to restore electricity. Northern Indiana Public Service Company says as many as 44-thousand customers lost power system-wide. That number was down to about 98-hundred early today this morning, with one of the hardest hit areas being Lake County with outages due to broken poles, downed wire and other storm-related damage from strong winds, lightning, and some isolated hail. Hardest hit communities include Crown Point, Lowell, Gary and Merrillville, and the tri-town area of St. John/Schererville/dyer, also Hebron and Valparaiso in Porter County.
In the Hobart/Merrillville area, Route 51 north of 73rd Avenue near Ainsworth was blocked by a train. Listeners have been using County Line and Randolph as alternates. We got word the road may be blocked until about noon.
Severe thunderstorms moved through the Region earlier this evening with high winds toppling several large trees and power lines throughout the Region. According to the National Weather Service , a trained spotter clocked 80 mph winds in Griffith around 6:45 p.m. Social media sites were reporting several large tree branches down in Crown point due to thunderstorm wind damage.
The Times is reporting heavy winds also reportedly blew the roof off of a home in the 1100 block of Sunnyslope Drive in Lakes of the Four Seasons in Crown Point. There were no reports of injuries. Additionally, Fire Chief Graham Federico of the Lakes of the Four Seasons Volunteer Fire Department told the Times that about a quarter mile of 109th Avenue west of the subdivision's entrance was blocked off due to trees that were blown down. That stretch of 109th Avenue will reportedly remain closed until Thursday morning according to the article.
Emergency Management officials also report heavy tree damage near 108th and 109th Avenues near Cline Avenue in Crown Point. In addition, high tension power lines closed State Road 2 east of I-65 as several high tension towers blew down in the storm.
NIPSCO reported several power outages affecting over 34,000 customers mainly in Crown Point, Schererville, Merrillville and Lowell areas with a little over 14,000 customers without power in Crown Point.
The severe storms are also blamed for a semi trailer that jackknifed while traveling westbound on the Borman (I-80/90) just east of Kennedy Avenue around 6:50 p.m. INDOT reported that the accident block three lanes between Cline Avenue and Kennedy Avenue.
The National Weather Service reports that 2 to 3 inches of rain has fallen in the Region already with more heavy rainfall expected in some areas. As a result a Flash Flood Warning remains in affect for persons in southern Lake, Newton and Jasper counties are under a flash flood warning until 2:30 a.m.
Time line and storm damage reported to the National Weather Service office:
0645 PM 1" HAIL GRIFFITH 41.52N 87.42W
REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER
0645 PM HAIL 3 SSW MUNSTER 41.51N 87.52W
0653 PM TSTM WND DMG CROWN POINT 41.42N 87.36W
LARGE TREE BRANCHES DOWN. RELAYED VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
0655 PM TSTM WND DMG 6 SE MERRILLVILLE 41.42N 87.24W
SEVERAL TREES UPROOTED AND LARGE BRANCHES DOWN. RELAYED VIA SOCIAL MEDIA.
0720 PM TSTM WND GST 60mph VALPARAISO 41.48N 87.05W
LASTED ABOUT 5 MINUTES REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER
0732 PM TSTM WND DMG CROWN POINT 41.42N 87.36W
HOUSE ROOF BLOWN OFF REPORTED BY AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR
0805 PM HEAVY RAIN .94 inch CROWN POINT 41.44N 87.35W
0.34 inches in past 30 minutes
0822 PM TSTM WND GST 63 mph 2 SSW LOWELL 41.27N 87.43W
REPORTED BY THE NATONAL WEATHER SERVICE
The Highland Police Department says due to the heavy rains, high winds and lightning that are expected in the area soon, that if you have a grate over a storm sewer in front of your house, please make sure it is open and free of debris or leaves in order to prevent flooding. Your help is appreciated.
Meantime, keep apprised of weather updates, and be prepared to seek shelter if conditions worsen. Winds of up to 60 mph are possible, so make sure items in your yard are secured and pets are sheltered.
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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) would like to warn of a potentially dangerous line of storms moving through the Midwest that could impact much of the state Wednesday evening and especially Northern Illinois counties.
The storms are expected to bring heavy rains, large hail and strong winds until midnight. Flash flood watches are in place throughout portions of the state, with flooding possible in low-lying areas, river streams and viaducts.
IDOT is receiving regular updates from the National Weather Service (NWS) and is preparing all districts throughout the state for the possibility of severe weather. IDOT will continue to coordinate with the NWS and other entities to provide information on pre-storm information as well as post storm response.
Motorists are urged to take precautions on the roads, as storms could potentially impact driving conditions.
Severe Weather Driving Tips:
· Do not drive through flooded areas
- Be aware of vehicles around you
- High winds are most problematic for drivers of trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, campers, and drivers who are towing trailers
- Turn on your headlights (low beams) and slow down
- Allow extra distance for braking
For a list of road closures, please visit http://www.dot.il.gov/road/roadClosures.htm. For real-time updates on today's storms, please visithttp://Ready.Illinois.gov /.
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Washington, D.C. –Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after voting in the full Senate Armed Services Committee National Defense Authorization Act mark-up on the issue of sexual assault prevention in the military. Senator Donnelly voted against Chairman Levin’s amendment that removed and replaced existing language sponsored by Senator Gillibrand regarding the chain of command. Chairman Levin’s amendment passed the Committee, 17 to 9.
“Two weeks ago, I attended a Clothesline Project event at the AmVets in Indianapolis, where dozens of Hoosier survivors of military sexual assault ‘aired’ their stories on t-shirts strung around the room. Hearing and reading their stories of violent assault, of a lack of justice served, or the retaliation they faced from fellow soldiers was heartbreaking.
“I have concluded that only a significant, serious change to the status quo will lead to a truly ‘zero tolerance’ policy. Survivors of sexual assault need to regain trust in the United States Armed Forces.
“I am thankful for Chairman Levin’s work on this issue, and I think his proposal is strong and moves us significantly in the right direction. It goes a long way toward dramatically improving the current system. Our military and its leaders are working hard to end this scourge against our servicemembers. However, in light of the seriousness and size of this problem, I supported Senator Gillibrand’s proposal in the mark. I think this is the right way to go as we seek to enact a zero tolerance policy for sexual assault in the Armed Forces.”
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(Photo Courtesy of obitsforlife.com)
The body of a 20 year old Army Specialist who was killed Friday in a crash while serving at Fort Campbell in Kentucky will be returned to Northwest Indiana tomorrow. Alan Jon (AJ) Roach Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee, formerly of Crown Point, is scheduled to arrive at Chicago's O'Hare Aiport around 8:30am. The Indiana Patriot Guard will then pick up the escort with Geisen's Funeral Home at 61st Avenue and Broadway, scheduled around 10am, but the actual time of arrival could vary due to traffic. Geisen's Funeral Home says visitation for Roach will take place Thursday, from 2pm-8pm, with the funeral service scheduled for 10am Friday, at the funeral home in Crown Point. Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Crown Point.
In memory of A.J., memorial donations may be given to: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
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The National Storm Prediction Center says there is a high risk for severe weather in northern Indiana tonight, while the rest of the state is under a moderate or slight risk. The “high risk” designation is not used often, and means patterns are developing which could cause extreme weather. The National Weather Service says these storms may bring widespread damaging winds, large hail, dangerous lightning, tornadoes, and torrential rainfall producing flash flooding.
Hoosiers should remain aware of changing weather conditions, and assess the need to travel while severe weather is in the area. Consider bringing any outdoor furniture or items inside.
With weather systems like this, it's not uncommon to see widespread power outages. While utility companies will be working to quickly repair any outages, storms of this size and magnitude often make it very difficult to restore power immediately.
Take the time now to charge cell phones, laptops and other devices, so that if power goes out, electronic devices will have a maximum charge.
Essential supplies to gather ahead of time in case utilities are disrupted:
- Food and water for three days (includes a minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day)
- Battery operated or hand crank all hazards radio
- Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
- Special items (baby formula, insulin, medications)
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In Gary, police are investigating a double homicide. Gary Police Corporal Gabrielle King says two cousins were found shot to death inside a home in Glen Park early this morning in the 49 hundred block of Washington Street. King says officers were dispatched to the scene around 5:30 this morning, for a call of shots fired, and found 18 year old Fredrick Stubbs and 19 year old Dontrell Wilson unresponsive in the bedroom of the residence. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Gary Police Detective James Bond at (219) 881-7300 Ext 3018.
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To hear our interview with Dr. Bart Wolf this morning, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
The National Weather Service says widespread severe weather is expected from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic today [ Wednesday ], with primary threats being large hail and damaging wind gusts. In addition to the severe weather, flooding will be possible as heavy rainfall is expected with the storms that develop and move into these areas.
Photo: Multiple cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud lightning strokes during night-time. Observed during night-time thunderstorm.
Image ID: nssl0010, NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) Collection
Photographer: C. Clark
Credit: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)
The ceremony will be streamed live on the internet at 11:00a.m. (CDT) Users should visit ustream.tv then type the words “Gary Access Network” in the search box. Gary residents with Comcast Cable service may view the funeral service live on WJPN-TV Channel 4.
“We know that countless Rudy Clay admirers near and far want to pay their respects,” said Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. “Thanks to the power of technology, we are giving them the opportunity to share in and witness a historic service via television or the internet.”
The funeral for Mayor Clay will take place Wednesday, June 12 at the Genesis Convention Center at 11:00a.m. In addition to Freeman-Wilson, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Judge Greg Mathis are scheduled to give remarks. The eulogy will be delivered by the Reverend Dr. Essie Clark-George, Presiding Elder of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
Clay also served as Indiana State Senator, County Recorder, County Councilman, County Commissioner in Lake County before becoming Mayor of Gary in 2006, and winning re-election the next year. Clay left politics two years ago because of prostate cancer. Clay was 77.
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