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Thousands still without power 24 hours after storms; cleanup continues

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — People on Friday night were still cleaning up the mess from Thursday’s strong storms. 

Winds whipped from 50-60 mph Thursday in the late afternoon and evening. News 8 viewers’ pictures and videos showed downed trees across roads, downed power lines stopping traffic, and an insane video from a tattoo shop where shingles flew from a mall roof and killed the power after colliding with a power line.

On top of the damage, as of 6:15 p.m. Friday, Duke Energy said they had 1,643 customers with power outages, almost all of them in Hamilton County, and Indianapolis Power and Light Co. said it had 6,502. 

For many people in the highest wind areas, they said they could not have predicted what happened. 

“‘Cause that was pretty scary out there,” Linda Higgins said. “Came into my living room and I heard a cracking and I knew it was a tree going. And like a silly, again, I do this,” she said covering her head. “And that wasn’t going to do a thing. And fortunately it fell the other direction, landed on my RV.”

The storm moved from north to south, hitting the Carmel area the worst. Cleanup crews have called in backup from surrounding areas including Lafayette and Dayton, Ohio, for help.

On Friday, there was still much to clean up. Some yards were still littered with power lines and debris that made many places not habitable or accessible.

“Everything is going pretty good,” Jim’s Tree Experts foreman Curtis Kinnet said. “We just took one off the roof right here actually. She got lucky. It didn’t have a whole lot of damage but a little bit of damage to it; couple holes. We had to tarp it up, get it weatherproofed so no more rain could get into it.”

Many people are trying to pick things up by themselves. That may clear out all of the wood and mess faster, but cleanup crews say it may be a better idea to get some professional help.

“Be careful,” Kinnet said. “Some of these get tricky. When they land on the ground and they’re bent up, sometimes you make a cut on it, it’s liable to jump sideways because you can’t really tell where the pressure is at. So you have to really be careful.”