FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Utility crews are working to restore power to tens of thousands of customers after storms Monday knocked out electricity throughout northeast Indiana. Some people may not have power restored until later this week.

I&M has estimated the time of full restoration to be June 16 at 11 p.m. The utility expects most customers will have power restored before then.

The National Weather Service reports a wind gust of 98 mph was recorded at Fort Wayne International, which is the strongest wind gust ever recorded. The previous record of 91 mph was set in 2012.

As of 11:00 a.m., I&M reported just over 24,000 customers without power in the Fort Wayne area with another 2.450 in Avilla and an additional 2,530 in the Decatur area.

According to I&M, crews have found more than 60 damaged or broken poles. Fallen trees are also hampering restoration efforts as crews must clear limbs from roads in order to access equipment that needs repaired.

I&M prioritizes how it restores power in four steps:

  • Main circuits delivering electricity to essential public safety facilities such as hospitals, 911 call centers, water treatment facilities, and police and fire stations
  • Large areas of affected customers where single repairs can restore hundreds or thousands of customers each
  • Small clusters of homes where single repairs restores dozens of customers each
  • Individual lines of service where single repairs restore one or two homes each

Both KREMC and Northeastern REMC are also reporting significant outages in the thousands. NREMC shared a drone video of snapped power poles in Whitley County, near the SDI plant off U.S. 30.

The utility said its biggest issue for their customers was the transmission lines that feed the substations were destroyed. That could take a day to repair, a spokesman said.

Remember to never touch a downed power line.