Crews working to restore power to Indiana, Michigan residents after storms

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EDWARDSBURG, Mich. (WNDU) - Thousands of people throughout Michiana were left without power after thunderstorms hit the area Wednesday night.

In Edwardsburg, Dailey Road between Yankee and Pine Lake remained closed into Thursday evening as crews restored electricity and internet service to customers.

However, many residents are back on the grid. As of 3:30 p.m., Midwest Energy & Communications reported 288 customers were still in the dark within Howard, Jefferson and Ontwa townships. Morning estimates reported at least 400 customers impacted.

“We had hurricane lamps, candles and flashlights," Edwardsburg resident Terry Sharp said. “After the storm passed, we come up, and obviously, we didn’t have any power, so I walked up and down the road and saw the other damage and if anybody else needed help."

The Cass County Road Commission told NewsCenter 16 that the hardest-hit area was within a 2-mile radius of the Edwardsburg-Niles line.

Edwardsburg resident Tony Taylor was driving home when the storm hit and described his experience.

“We tried every direction, but there were just trees down all over the place," Taylor said. "And we had to pull over a couple times, just couldn’t see and, you know, 25 mph down the highway, limbs down all over the road too. So, it was a mess, that’s for sure."

The storm broke more than 20 trees, downed power lines and caused residents to pick up the pieces.

Residents in Elkhart were also cleaning up near the area of Jackson and Banks.

At one point, Indiana Michigan Power reported more than 8,000 customers were without electricity in the Elkhart area.

Mary and John Smith were part of the group without power. The couple awoke Wednesday night to find their 100-year-old tree had fallen on their house, car, power lines and in the street.

“It’s a little eerie, you know? Thank God everybody’s OK," Mary said. "That was our first thought, that nobody got hurt. It looks like this tree could have hit this house,that power line could have gone that way, it could have done a lot more damage than it did.”

As of 4:22 p.m., I&M reported 85% of customers once again had power. But more than 1,100 remained in the dark.

The company expected to have all electricity restored by 11 p.m. Thursday.