Snowy weather brings power outages

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By Amanda Starrantino

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Portions of Michiana didn't have power Thursday morning. At its peak, thousands of people were without power. Officials say the outages were caused by trees that aren't yet ready for the winter weather.

We spoke with a representative from Indiana Michigan Power, also known as AEP, to find out what happened.

"There are trees in and amongst various power lines, and typically if there is any weight associated on the tree branches, then they weigh on the power lines and that ends up tripping a circuit and those circuits is what knocks people out of power," said Jim Finan, Manager of Economic Development for Indiana Michigan Power.

Those colorful fall trees lining neighborhoods are also mixed with power lines - and can become a hazard.

The outages are likely to continue until the leaves fall off, or the trees get trimmed.

"As we look at what just transpired, that will certainly get into the mix, as we look at our future tree trim and our tree trimming planning sessions, but we do that year round," said Finan.

With the first snow flakes weighing down colorful leaves, it created one of biggest outages AEP has seen in a while.

"We saw a peak level wise about 1200 customers being out," said Finan.

Officials say they are anticipating more early snow this season, but they are ready to respond to many more outages.

"We are prepared, and these things just like we encountered today, we are going to respond as quickly as we possibly can because we know the season is coming," said Finan.

If you have a tree on your property that is too close to a power line, power officials say that it is very important that you do not trim the tree yourself. 

You must call AEP's customer service and they will trim it for you. In Indiana, call (800) 311-4634 and in Michigan, call (800) 311-6424.

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