UPDATE: Thousands of Michiana residents without power after damaging storms

From I&M at 10:11 a.m. Thursday:

A heavy thunderstorm struck the Elkhart area after midnight on Thursday, resulting in widespread tree damage and several broken poles. About 8,000 I&M customers lost service, and I&M crews have restored power to 70 percent of those customers. By 10 a.m., about 2,400 affected by the storm remained without service.

In addition to the full complement of I&M crews from South Bend/Elkhart in the field restoring power, additional employees and contractor crews from Michigan, Fort Wayne and Muncie have been deployed to assist in the restoration.

I&M encourages the public to be aware of storm damage in their area, including the possibility of downed power lines. Stay away from all downed power lines. Be cautious of the possibility of traffic lights not functioning.

As crews access damage in the area, estimated times of restoration will be established for specific areas and neighborhoods. I&M encourages customers to use the Indiana Michigan Power mobile application, available on Apple and Android devices, to monitor the status of any outage affecting your home or business. You can also sign up for mobile alerts on the app or at www.IndianaMichiganPower/alerts

Customers can also see the location and status of outages using our outage map at www.IndianaMichiganPower.com/outagemap

Original Story

Indiana Michigan Powers is reporting more than 6,500 people in Elkhart County are without power Thursday morning.

Dispatch confirmed with NewsCenter 16 several intersection in Elkhart are closed. Jackson street from Goshen Avenue to Homan is closed.

There are several down power lines and trees around Goshen Avenue.

In Michigan, more than 150 Berrien County residents are in the dark Thursday morning.

Several townships in Cass County are without power.

Midwest Energy & Communications is also reporting more than 13-hundred customers are in the dark after damaging storms crossed southwest Michigan late Wednesday evening. The Cass County townships affected are Jefferson, Howard, Calvin, Newberg and Ontwa.

Crews are finding many broken poles and downed wire as they work on restoration. Most of the damage is near Edwardsburg.

Residents are advised to use caution.