Some still without power after Thursday's strong storms

WTHR photo
Power still out for some
Storm cleanup

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Thousands of people were still without power 24 hours after a strong storm moved through Central Indiana Thursday evening.

The storm packed straight line winds stronger than 60 mph, shearing off trees and pulling down power lines.

Around 71st & Olney, in the Glendale Heights neighborhood, crews were out in force trying to restore power to dozens of homes, several buried beneath large trees, either uprooted or split in two.

"Iit was clear we had significant winds, but our first thought was it was some sort of small tornado because the trees were all sheared at the same level," said Alan Sheffield. He was trying to clear fallen limbs from the front of his home.

As a few residents pointed out, you could trace the path of the storm by following the twisted treetops and, in some cases, power poles.

"I'm shocked," said Margaret Nowicki as she walked her dog. "There's a lot of damage."

Strong winds also snapped trees and power poles along North Keystone near 58th.

"I heard a really serious loud pop and then heard a crash and thought that doesn't sound good," said Delphine Burton.

It wasn't. Burton saw a large tree lying across her driveway and into the street, just moments after she had pulled her into the garage.

"Thank God, because I was sitting right there and would have been crushed," she said. I'm just thankful. It was nothing but God."

She and her neighbors got their power back, after four poles snapped in two were temporarily fixed. Many others continue to wait with no word on when their electricity will be restored.

Power had been restored to much of Indianapolis by Friday night.

But not everywhere. Herb Lee Draper points up and down the street.

"I think a lot of them have their power, but her power is not on,“ Draper said.

At 8 p.m. Friday, Victoria Burris called it "horrible."

"It’s hot. I can’t put my air on. It’s been more than 24 hours and I’ve been without power,” she said from her east side home.

And we’re not just talking about comfort. There’s safety.

“I really don’t have a lot, but I have ice and ribs and fish. Just little things, catfish nuggets. See how it’s leaking,” Burris said, pointing to a plastic bag of melting ice cubes in her freezer.

After 27 hours without power, Burris know some tough choices are coming.

“You have ice cubes, but it may not mean it safe. It’s warm in here. It’s cool a little bit,” she said, checking the refrigerator's temperature.

She said she'll have to toss away the macaroni salad and the milk in the fridge.

"Yes, I will. There’s nothing I can do with that," she told us.

As a rule, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control says you should throw out perishable foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, milk and leftovers when the refrigerator has lost power for four hours or more. Thawed frozen food that still has ice crystals on it can be refrozen or cooked if you keep them.

The CDC also says full freezers left closed during a power outage will keep food safe for 48 hours. About 28 hours if it's half-full.

"Number one, I’m a diabetic, so my insulin is also in here," Burris said. "I do take insulin shots, so this must stay cool."

She admitted being worried about it. Many medications have strict rules on temperature control. CDC says replace them. Don’t take medicines if the refrigerator has been down a day or more unless the label says otherwise.

Burris expressed disappointment over having to send the refrigerator's contents to trash. With more of this year's storm season to come, an ideal plan would include an option to move food and medicine to a friend’s home, one equipped with a generator. A plan to stay healthy.

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