Duke Energy working to restore power, bad weather on Saturday could cause delays

Based on Duke Energy’s outage map, as of 5 a.m. on Saturday morning (July 1) about 77,000 of the power company’s Indiana customers were still without power after a destructive windstorm  blasted the Hoosier state around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

In Monroe County, the number without power at 5 a.m. on Saturday stood at around 9,000.

Both of those figures are a little lower than the stats provided by a Duke Energy spokesperson around 9:30 p.m. on Friday—82,000 across the state and 12,000 in Monroe County.

Those without power are now a day and a half into their ordeal. Many of them will have to wait another day or more to have their electricity service restored. Most of the outage maps for the Bloomington area show an estimated time for restoration of July 2 (Sunday) around midnight.

According to a Duke Energy spokesperson, those estimated times are the “latest date and time we expect to have all service back on in the area—but please note that most customers will be on sooner.”

What could impact the restoration of power is more bad weather on Saturday. For the Monroe County area, the National Weather Service gives a Saturday forecast that says  showers and thunderstorms are likely mainly before 2 p.m. The forecast notes: “Some of the storms could be severe.”

Duke Energy has around 1,900 people working across the state to restore power, according to a spokesperson.

In addition to the company’s regular contractors, about 1,000 line workers, damage assessors, and tree crews have arrived from Duke Energy teams in Ohio/Kentucky, the Carolinas and Florida. About 225 of those out-of-state workers will be helping the local Monroe County team.

The crews are staging their trucks in the parking lot of the Indiana University football stadium off Dunn Street.

Thursday’s storm was what meteorologists call a derecho (say deh-REY-cho)—a windstorm that’s characterized by a long-lasting and extensive squall line that produces damaging winds over a wide area. The etymology is Spanish, coming from the word for “straight”—because the punch that’s packed by a derecho comes from straight-line winds, not rotational forces like in a tornado.

The National Weather Service report on the June 29, 2023 storm describes 70-mph winds. For Monroe County, the National Weather Service damage log includes a report from around 3:50 p.m. on Thursday: “Several trees and power lines down across Monroe County. Duke Energy reports widespread outages from the storms.”

3 thoughts on “Duke Energy working to restore power, bad weather on Saturday could cause delays

  1. SCIREMC serves much of the northern half of Monroe Co shows about 50% (2700) of their customers still without power. https://sciremc.maps.sienatech.com. Over in Owen they serve most of the county and have about 50% of customers (3400) without power. That’s maybe 1/3rd of homes over there. Duke still shows Terre Haute with about 34K out. Point is, power crews are very very busy fixing everything everywhere so this could take a while

  2. This event is an excellent example demonstrating why the US should invest in yet another infrastructure improvement: buried power lines. This is going to be a rough weekend for utility crews trying to repair wires strung from pole to pole as the storms continue. Grateful for whatever they can accomplish.

  3. For what they are paying all these hard working repairmen, why don’t they just bury the lines?

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