Winds from winter storm create plenty of problems - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Winds from winter storm create plenty of problems

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A winter storm brought lots of gusty winds to parts of Northern Indiana and Southwest Michigan, leading to plenty of power outages.

The National Weather Service said the highest gust was in Saint Joseph, Michigan, where a reporting station recorded a 59 mile per hour wind gust at 1:40 a.m. Friday morning. Many parts of the area saw gusts in the 30-40 mile per hour range, and the National Weather Service says gusts up to 50 miles per hour are still possible through Friday afternoon.

The winds have caused plenty of problems. In Niles, high winds are likely to blame for a tree falling on a home, causing a lot of damage.

Indiana Michigan Power said more than 17,000 of their customers were without power as of 2:00 p.m. Friday. More than 6,500 of those customers are in Berrien County. I&M estimates it may be Sunday evening before some customers in the Benton Harbor area have their power restored. It estimates customers in the Buchanan and New Buffalo areas should have power restored by noon Sunday, in the South Bend area by 8 p.m. Saturday. Customers in the Elkhart and Three Rivers area are expected to be restored by Friday evening.

As of 4:00 p.m. Friday, Midwest Energy said they were down to about 120 customers without power, down from more than 3,000 of its members were without power at around 11:00 a.m.

NIPSCO reported about 360 customers without power as of 4:00 p.m, down from 3,900 around 11:30 a.m. Friday.

On the roads, things are generally moving pretty well, though drivers should still take things easy and be on the watch for icy patches. Michigan State Police say many highways in Southwest Michigan remain icy and have some slush. INDOT's LaPorte District says most of its fleet of plows is still on the roads. Most state roads north of U.S. 30 are reported as fair or good, with some patches of ice and blowing snow. Many road south of U.S. 30 are still said to be difficult due to blowing snow and strong winds.

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