Kosciusko County residents continue to deal with storm damage

NOW: Kosciusko County residents continue to deal with storm damage

NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. --- Thousands of people across Michiana are still dealing with the effects of Monday night's severe storms. Along with damage from fallen trees and branches, many homes are still left without power. Local power companies have been working around the clock and providing updates to customers about the power restoration, but the damage that the storm caused was very extensive to power lines and poles.

Kosciusko County got hit pretty hard with Monday's storm, uprooting several large trees and knocking the power out for the majority of homes. Some North Webster residents are still dealing with the damage the storm caused, even three days later.

“Me and Mother Nature are going to have a talk. Next storm, don’t have it one hundred degrees outside," jokingly says North Webster resident, Dennis Prater.

Prater continues to assess the damage that Monday evening's severe weather left his property with. In all of his 35 years spending summers at their lakefront, he had never seen a storm so powerful.

“At 10:30 we got an alarm on our phone that said ‘80 mile an hour winds, take cover immediately.’ I ran outside, grabbed the lawn chairs, took the flag down, came back in and by that time the storm was hitting and I thought it was going to blow the windows out of our sun porch," recalls Prater. “We saw this giant tree fall, it’s the largest tree I have on the property about 150 feet tall by eight feet around. It came up and smashed my SUV of course, but luckily it didn’t hit the house. We’re very fortunate, but then the power went out.”

Prater and many more residents of Kosciusko County went for three days without electricity, but as of Thursday afternoon, he is one of the lucky ones that got their power back.

“We were here three days without air conditioning, electricity, we got very warm in the house. Our basement was a little cooler so we stayed down there, but upstairs was about 90 degrees inside, but it was 95 degrees outside," Prater recalls. “Some of the lake, Epworth Forests on the other side of the lake is still without power.”

NIPSCO tells me that they have a little less than 150 homes without power in Kosciusko County; 17 in North Webster and 123 in Syracuse. The NIPSCO trucks continued their cycles today, and they say power should be restored to all remaining customers by 6:00 Thursday night.

“I was very satisfied with NIPSCO, we were out for 48 hours approximately, which isn’t bad with that much damage," says Prater.

Even with the power back on, some lake residents will need to keep an eye out for any uprooted trees near the water that could cause further damage.

“This tree especially, they’re concerned," says Prater about the large, uprooted tree in his front yard. "The roots go out to my seawall, and they’re afraid the vibration and the roots being torn, the water will seep into those roots and start bubbling. They’re afraid that water will come out like a geyser.”

For Prater, he's on the market for a new vehicle.

“It’s replaceable, I’ve got insurance on it," says Prater about his damaged car. "The insurance is coming tomorrow to pick it up, and then we’re going to start negotiating the value. That’s always a fun process.”

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