Next steps to restore power are underway in Michiana, I&M explai - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Next steps to restore power are underway in Michiana, I&M explains

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SOUTH BEND -

 On Wednesday Indiana Michigan Power was faced with over 90 electrical poles down in the Michiana area: 57 in South Bend, 37 in Michigan. Director of Communications for I&M Power, Brian Bergsma, says it's going to take some time to restore power to all these areas, and there are three simple steps to be taken before people will see the light again: Assess the damage, clear the damage, and restore power,

"When we do an assessment process that is essentially we send out our crews around the entire region and they will literally be looking at what the damage is, and what that really does in the long run is we know where to send our crews," says Bergsma.

From there, I&M uses separate contractors to clear trees and other debris, so the power company can work faster. It's their responsibility to replace downed electrical poles and wires, including the wires running from the power distribution to your electric box. Homeowners are responsible for any damage done to the box itself.

Bergsma says if you think a tree or limb is interfering with a wire, don't hesitate to call them,

"We have an obligation to serve our customers and we will be more than happy to assist them in that process," he says.

Communities are also rallying to help their neighbors with clean-up. Beth Berry of Pershing St. in South Bend says she's proud of the way everyone has helped each other,

"About 20 minutes after the calm, after the storm, we were all out in the street you know looking at everybody's houses and making sure everybody was okay," says Berry.

Some South Bend residents say they could speed up the clean-up process if drivers would avoid driving on their street and stopping to take photos or look at the damage,

"This is not the time to go sight seeing in the neighborhood," Berry added.

I&M expects to have all Michiana residents to have power by Saturday, July 5.

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