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Little damage reported after strong storm sweeps region

Updated: July 21, 2014 3:31PM



VALPARAISO — The storm came and went in small bursts in the city’s downtown, and restaurants with outdoor dining rushed to get furniture moved to safety, but damage and power outages remained minimal.

At Figure Eight Brewing at 150 Washington St., employees saw a sheet of metal fly off the top of a building across the way as they were going out to stack up their own furniture.

“As soon as we saw the wind pick up, we figured we’d get things away,” sales representative Neil Davey said. “Better safe than sorry.”

The National Weather Service reported a severe thunderstorm packing winds of up to 65 mph knocked down trees and power lines Wednesday afternoon across northern Indiana.

At 2:30 p.m. Wednesday Northern Indiana Public Service Co. was reporting more than 3,100 customers were without power in Valparaiso. The NIPSCO outage center showed 700 without power in Portage, but only 138 without power in Merrillville in Lake County. By 6 p.m. power had been restored to almost all customers in Porter County.

Brent Wagner of Wagner Architecture, said the metal Figure Eight employees saw fly off the building across the street at 54 Indiana Ave. was left over from renovation work.

Nobody was hurt, and nothing was damaged, Wagner said.

The power failed twice downtown, including at the courthouse, but both short bursts weren’t enough to affect business.

Davey said they have generators to protect the brewing process, but they didn’t kick in.

Sgt. Mike Grennes of the Valparaiso Police Department said his department knew of no major problems from the storms.

The weather service says trees were reported down in Elkhart, St. Joseph and Marshall counties and half-inch hail was reported near Pierceton in Kosciusko County.

Contributing: The Associated Press



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