Swift storm causes problems for Michiana residents

It may not have lasted long, but a storm that blew through Michiana Sunday afternoon caused plenty of problems for residents.

Lightning photo from Michael Kaplan

It may not have lasted long, but a storm that blew through Michiana Sunday afternoon caused plenty of problems for residents.

It was powerful enough to send a more than 100-year-old tree crashing to the ground in South Bend.

“I saw a lightning bolt and then I heard thunder crack and it seemed awful close,” said resident Kathy Reinhardt. “And so I turned around to our front yard and saw our tree fall down in the middle of the street.”

The tree fell just a few feet away from the Studebaker Museum. Luckily, it didn’t hit any buildings and narrowly missed two cars.

“It's really a miracle because nobody was driving by,” Reinhardt said. “Nobody was walking by. There's two cars, my son's and a neighbor's car and it fell between them.”

One car suffered some cracks to its windshield, but there was no other damage.

While Reinhardt’s family waited for crews to come cleanup the mess, organizers at the BEAR’s summer concert wanted to make sure the storm didn’t do any damage to the more than 3,000 people at St. Pat’s Park.

So they implemented a plan they’d had in place all afternoon.

“We’ve been told that there’s 70 to 90 mile an hour winds coming with a rain storm,” said volunteer Denise Zigler. “It’s moving fast, but we thought the safe thing to do was to send everyone to their car.”

Folks who decided to wait the storm out were eventually allowed back inside and everyone made it home safely.

The Pulaski County Fair also had to be evacuated because of the severe weather.

About 200 residents had to leave the fairgrounds after the strong winds knocked down trees, tents and power lines.

Some of Sunday’s events were moved to different venues for the evening.


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