A windstorm that blasted through the Midwest last week caused scattered power outages and some damage in Noble County, mostly due to trees and large limbs being blown down.
Although no one was hurt locally, several deaths were blamed on the storm as it moved from the Midwest Wednesday night into Thursday, then hit the Northeast. In Indiana a confirmed tornado touched down in the Muncie area, damaging a home and barn. Elsewhere, straight line winds were measured gusting up to 65 mph, leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity even as crews worked to restore power to those left without after the previous week's ice storm. New outages were reported in twelve states.
The National Weather Service issued both wind and flood warnings. Heavy rain fell in Noble County, with up to two inches of rain coming down just to the south, in the Fort Wayne area. Combined with recent snow melts, the rain contributed to widespread flooding. About half a dozen roads in Noble County were blocked by standing water.
On CR 1200E near Kendallville, a driver ended up stalled in high water after he ignored a warning sign and tried to drive through a flooded area. He escaped unharmed, but his car had to be pulled out by a wrecker.
However, most local damage was done by the wind. Numerous wind related problems were reported to Noble County Sheriff's Department dispatchers, including trees across roadways, power lines down, and automatic alarms. In Albion, a CSX Railroad crossing arm at the Orange Street crossing was blown off, and repair crews had to go searching for it before making repairs.
A tree came down onto a boat and power lines just over the Kosciusko County line, damaging the craft and leaving sparking electric lines across a roadway. Near LaOtto a driver hit a trash bin and debris that had been blown onto SR 205, damaging the vehicle's front bumper, while startled drivers near Merriam encountered a large trampoline in the middle of State Road 9.
Over half a dozen trees were blown onto roadways, including one on CR 50W south of Albion. Noble County and INDOT crews were called out to assist in removing them. A road sign was blown over into the right of way of CR 150E, just north of SR 8.
REMC and AEP utility crews were also kept busy during the storm, as well as local fire departments. In one incident near Bear Lake, a tree branch fell onto a power line, and sparks from the arcing line threatened a nearby home. While Noble Township Fire crews were on the scene of that incident, another power line nearby came down, setting fire to a pole mounted security light. Power lines also came down on the roadway near US 33 and CR 750W, bringing out Cromwell firefighters.
Part of Cromwell was without power earlier in the night, and later on electricity went out to the rest of town. When it came back on Cromwell firefighters were called out to a Jefferson Street address to investigate a possible electrical fire in a home.
Earlier the previous evening the same fire trucks investigated a fire alarm at Shady Acres Town and Country Mercantile, while Albion firefighters responded to an alarm at the former Augusta Hills Golf Course west of town. Both are believed to be weather related.
Despite all that, northeast Indiana got off easy compared to Oklahoma, where eight people were confirmed dead by a rare series of February tornadoes. Another confirmed twister hit Texas, and still another Missouri, in addition to the one in Indiana.