Weekend winds knock down power lines, snarl traffic

Photos courtesy of German Township Volunteer Fire Department
Photos courtesy of German Township Volunteer Fire Department

Thousands in our area left without power and traffic tied up for hours on Interstate 65 after high winds on Saturday whipped through the area.

Duke Energy reported last night that power was restored to about 90 percent of its customers across the state, with power expected to be restored for the rest by 6 p.m. tonight. About 10 customers were still without power in North Vernon as of this morning and a handful of scattered customers in Columbus.

A wind-related wreck near Edinburgh tied up traffic on the interstate for several hours after an empty refrigerated semi was blown off the road, overturned and was impaled on a guardrail.

Deputy Chief Matt Lynch with the German Township Volunteer Fire Department said the accident happened near the 76-mile-marker on Interstate 65. The driver was slightly injured and had climbed out of the cab of the truck by the time firefighters arrived. He was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

About 50 gallons of diesel fuel were also spilled during the incident, Lynch said.

Because of the large number of calls to local rescue workers, Shelbyville firefighters were called in to help at the scene.  German Township volunteers had to cut out the guardrail that had been embedded in the truck and wreckers from 31 Wrecker Towing company put the truck back on its wheels.

Lynch said that German Township volunteers were on the scene for about two hours and during that time, Bartholomew County dispatchers made 47 fire and EMS calls around the county, most related to the high winds.

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