(UPDATED) Storm brings needed rain, unwanted damage
(Local News ~ 07/08/12)
It's pretty difficult to complain about the big rain, wind and hail storm that swept through parts of Greene County on Sunday afternoon drenching precipitation-starved farm fields, withered flowers and browned lawns. It was significant, measurable rain falling from the sky for the first time for some drought-parched areas in the county since the first week of June. Unofficial reports that came to the Greene County Daily World showed rainfall amounts ranging from about a half-inch to more than five inches. As a result the countywide burn ban put in place by the Greene County Board of Commissioners was lifted, effective at noon Monday, by order of Commissioner's president Steve Lindsey. Lindsey will review the weather conditions next Monday to see if a new burn ban is necessary. "He (Lindsey) asked that people just be careful and use some common sense," Greene County Auditor Matt Baker said. Bloomfield was drenched with rainfall amounts ranging between 2.5 inches to about 5.25 inches. The Worthington area had 2.5 inches to 3 inches. Parts of Stafford Township - near Lyons - had 3.5 inches of rain with some trees blown down. It was reported that about 1.25 inches fell in the Solsberry area and 2.5 inches near Owensburg. Linton had about 1.5 inches. Sunday's storm also packed some strong winds, lightning and hail that kept utility crews busy making repairs. Shane Smith, Manager of Operations and Engineering for Utilities District of Western Indiana REMC, says at its height about 3,000 customers - mostly in Greene and Lawrence counties - were without electrical service after the wave of storms moved through the area Sunday afternoon. "It was a long day and night for us," Smith said. Five two-man crews and one three-man crew worked much of the afternoon and night, Smith pointed out. A substation was knocked out in Lawrence County, various poles were snapped in the Bloomfield and Lyons areas, and widespread trees were toppled, Smith said. In Greene County, Smith estimated there were about 1,000 customer outages - nearly all of which had service restored by Monday morning. There was damage to a home and two poles still down in the Lyons area. There was also damage done to a home south of Jasonville and a pole broken north of Bloomfield, where between 3.5 and about 5 inches of rain fell. Most of the damage was wind-related with a few problems with lighting strikes, Smith added. In Worthington, winds took out a very large limb in front of Connie Phillips and her daughter Tabitha Lowther's house on S. Lafayette St. The limb came down on not just one but three vehicles belonging to family members who were there for a Sunday visit. Only one vehicle was visible from the road, the other two completely covered with limbs and leaves. All three appeared to have windshields shattered and substantial body damage. Phillips was concerned about how to go about cleaning up the mess but thankful her children and small grandchildren had already exited their cars when the storm hit. Duke Energy Indiana spokesman Lew Middleton said there were very limited - less than a dozen - power outages for customers in the Worthington and Switz City areas. One residence in Worthington was without service from 3:50 p.m. until about 11:30 p.m. after a tree fell onto a power line. "It took some time to clear the vegetation and make the repair," Middleton said. Three Duke Energy customers in Switz City were without service for about three hours - starting at 7 p.m. - while a work crew replaced a blown fuse, he added. Staff Writer Anna Rochelle contributed to this report.
Stories from Sunday, July 8, 2012
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