WHITLEY COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Around 6:30 Friday morning, nearly 8500 people lost power in Whitley County. According to Northeastern REMC and Indiana Michigan Power, customers lost service due to an issue with transmission lines. With temperatures down to minus 10 and wind chills reaching 30 below zero Friday morning, crews were rushing to restore power as quickly as possible.
The outage knocked out traffic signals throughout the county for a time and drivers were urged to use extra caution. Crews worked hard to repair substations that were down and switch transmission lines to limit the outage.
By around 11:40 a.m., Northeastern REMC sent out a release stating that power had been restored to all customers in Whitley County. I&M then reported restoring service to all customers by around 2 p.m.
In the meantime, to help local folks cope with the sudden loss of power, the Whitley County YMCA opening its doors as a warming center.
Several people stopped by to warm-up, work out, and enjoy a hot shower. Some people who came in to get warm told us the temperature in their homes quickly dropped into the low 50s without power. Others told us they dug out extra blankets, lit a fire in their fireplace, and opened their cabinet doors to help keep pipes from freezing.
Indiana Michigan Power tells us that there is a piece of equipment at the power substations that alerts for trips and usually keeps outages isolated. But, that failed, which is why this incident was so widespread. That being said, this outage was not attributed to the weather.
Whitley County is home to approximately 33,000 residents.