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Crews work to restore power to 23,000 in Indiana

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm •  Published: July 3, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Fireworks may be the only lights in the sky in parts of northern Indiana this July 4 holiday.

Thousands of northern Indiana residents were still without power Thursday following massive storms earlier in the week, and some might not have their lights turned back on until Saturday evening.

More than 20,000 homes and businesses remained without power late Thursday. Powerful storms that spawned seven tornadoes in Indiana downed trees and snapped utility poles Monday and Tuesday, cutting power to about 150,000 customers of the region's two major utilities. Northern Indiana is mainly served by Northern Indiana Public Service Co. and Indiana-Michigan Power.

South Bend was especially hard-hit. I&M spokeswoman Erica Putt said 29,000 customers there were without power at the outages' peak. About 8,700 outages remained in the South Bend area about noon, according to I&M's website. Putt said Thursday afternoon that the number of outages remaining in South Bend had increased slightly after a tree fell in the city early Thursday, causing a new outage.

About 10,000 of I&M's Indiana customers remained without electricity Thursday, and Putt said that it could be 6 p.m. Saturday before power is fully restored, though most customers should have electricity before then.

Amber Benson, of South Bend, said she and the couple she lives with, who have a newborn and 3-year-old, have lost a lot of food without electricity for refrigeration.

"We've had to go out and spend money we don't have buying cans of formula and things like that," she said. "And they're not talking about the power being back until Saturday."

Benson said neighbors living across the street from her have power.

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