Power outages remain for thousands in Howard County

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KOKOMO, Ind. (August 26, 2016) -- Power is slowly coming back to Howard County.

As of Friday afternoon, around 95 outages meant 4,000 people were still without power. That represents a significant decrease from the outage peak on Tuesday. Then, more than 30,000 people didn’t have electricity.

Forty-eight hours after the first tornado touched down, some people have managed to find or buy generators.

Sherman Allen has a generator powering a fan and fridge. With what he saw coming from the sky two days ago, he knows he and his wife are luckier than most on his block.

“So I looked over at those buildings over there and I saw one coming this way and this way and it developed a couple miles from here,” says Allen. “But luckily, it went over our house and really hit some houses bad.”

Driving through the area around Allen’s place, you can see just how bad his neighbors and friends were hit.

There’s extensive damage throughout, with old trees toppled and power lines taken down by large limbs. Debris and trees both are complicating the job Duke energy crews need to do.

“Right now that’s all we’re worried about, is just getting the power back on, so we can cook here at the house,” says Edward Reidt.

Reidt has an electric stove, so he’s been eating out with his wife or at friend’s houses for the last several meals.

A few houses down, Kay Tharp has only been at her home during the day, to clean up fallen trees and other debris. At night, she goes to her daughter’s home for meals and electricity.

I go to her house at night to make sure the phone’s charged and I tell you, it’s been something else,” says Tharp.

But all the neighbors agree that a half mile down the road, the situation is much, much worse.

There, power lines are sagging, nearly touching the road for about two blocks. They’re right behind Park Place Apartments, one of the hardest-hit areas in the county.

“You can’t even get down Park,” says Reidt. “They’ve got it all blocked off. And that’s when I first knew something serious happened in my neighborhood.”

Reidt says the area around the Park Place complex looks similar to a war zone. He says the now-condemned apartment complex reminds him to be patient in his wait for a little A/C and some light at night.

“Power is a better problem to have,” says Reidt. “I’m just glad nobody got killed.”

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