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City cleanup ‘going well’ - But will be slowed by the holiday

July 3, 2012

    "All in all, I'm very pleased with the cleanup; it's going pretty well," Decatur Street/Sanitation Superintendent Jeremy Gilbert said this morning.
    City cleanup crews were "nearly halfway through the first pass (of the city)," he said, noting that once completed, a second pass will be made to pick up smaller debris.
    People are urged to move their storm debris to curbside to facilitate the cleanup.
    Gilbert cautioned, though, "that things are going to slow up now with the (Fourth of July) holiday coming up," which means two trash routes will be run Thursday, requiring more manpower and time.
    "We're just limited in our manpower, and we've got some (workers) on vacation, so we're just asking people to be patient and we'll get it done."
    He said the city crews worked with Indiana & Michigan crews part of Monday, with the utility workers shutting down power long enough in some places to have large trees and limbs removed by city employees.
    In a statement issued at 11p.m. Monday, I&M said it had restored service to more than 82,000 of the customers that lost service as a result of Friday's storm, with about 37,000 still without electric service across the I&M service area.
    The majority of those customers (36,000) are located in the greater Fort
Wayne area. Friday's storm caused damage or interrupted service for 138
(95 percent) of the 146 distribution circuits that serve the greater Fort Wayne area, the utility said.
    I&M said it anticipated that full restoration of service would be accomplished late Monday night in Adams, DeKalb, Wells, and Huntington counties, and by Tuesday evening in Delaware, Grant, Blackford, Jay, Madison, and Randolph counties.
    The statement estimated that 80 percent of all customers will be restored by late Wednesday night, and that restoration will continue through the weekend for conditions that affect small pockets of customers and individual properties.
    
    Meanwhile, county highway crews will not be applying chip and seal to county roadways this week due to the storm, according to Adams County Highway Superintendent Mark Mitchel.    
    Mitchel told the commissioners Monday that workers are busy this week clearing tree limbs and debris from county roads and will continue throughout the week.
    Crews are still encountering several downed limbs, some of which are partially blocking roads, according to Mitchel.
    To report downed trees on a county road call the highway department: (260) 692-6222.

    The Decatur Fire Department this morning released information regarding a fire that occurred at the residence of John Cowens, 0840 E 900 N, during Friday's storm.
    Firefighters were dispatched at 4:36 p.m. as winds uprooted a tree on the Cowens property, bringing power lines down onto the home and igniting the blaze, according to a spokesperson.
    Crews remained on the scene until 5:41 p.m., but were dispatched to the home again at 6:41 p.m. when Cowens heard a humming noise coming from the electrical box.
    There was no fire at that time, and it was determined by firefighters electrical problems were causing the issue. Power to the home was turned off until repairs could be done, according to the report.
    Crews returned to the station at 8:31 p.m.
    There was no estimate of damage.

    In Fort Wayne, the Allen County Commissioners were expected to declare a state of emergency, which was requested on Monday by Mayor Tom Henry.
    Henry said the emergency declaration would accelerate the process of applying for federal disaster assistance. WANE-TV reported that the commissioners plan to ratify a county-wide disaster declaration at Friday’s meeting.
     Friday's storm toppled hundreds of trees and cut power to thousands of homes in Fort Wayne.

    Hoosiers who sustained damage caused by severe weather beginning Friday can report it online at https://myoracle.in.gov/hs/damage.
    A link to the form is also available on the Indiana Department of Homeland Security website at www.in.gov/dhs. The link is located in the middle of the page under "Topics of the Day." Users may click on "Report damage from severe weather June 29, 2012."
    Individuals will be asked to give their name, address, phone number, damage to property and type of damage sustained. Losses may include structural damage to homes and loss of personal property.
    For more information, contact Adams County Emergency Management Agency (EMA): 724-5320 or online at ema@co.adams.in.us.
    Individuals without internet access are encouraged to contact a friend, family member, or neighbor for assistance. Web access is also available at many libraries, religious institutions, community centers, or other public facilities.
    This is not an application for a grant with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, officials said. Information will be used to help local emergency management agencies and the Indiana Department of Homeland Security preliminarily assess damage to determine if federal assistance can be pursued.

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