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I&M, city and county crews work overnight to restore power, clear roads

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 5:38 am

Around 400 customers of Indiana Michigan Power in the Fort Wayne area were without electricity, with restoration crews working overnight into Thursday morning, as a result of the Wednesday snowstorm that blanketed the region.

I&M said in a release that it hopes to have all power restored by 2 p.m. Thursday as the utility deals with the aftermath of the storm that dropped inches of wet, heavy snow around the area, bringing down tree branches and power lines.

The utility said about 11,000 customers were without power at the peak of the weather event, around 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Allen County road crews were expected to begin work at 4 a.m. Thursday morning to plow and treat county roads, according to a news release. The danger on Thursday morning will likely be ice-covered roads awaiting morning travelers, as temperatures dropped into the single-digits overnight. The wet snow, as well as any precipitation or water left on untreated roadways, will likely have frozen and could make travel treacherous.

For those who must travel, it is advised that motorists bring a flashlight, food, water, blankets and other emergency gear in case of trouble.

Allen County was in an "advisory" travel status as of Wednesday evening, which means that routine travel may be restricted in various areas, and that motorists should continue to use caution.

In Fort Wayne, snow plows were expected to hit neighborhoods, after clearing main and secondary arteries, Wednesday evening, with that work expected to continue into Thursday morning.

A news release from the city said that plowing is expected to be complete by Thursday afternoon, while traffic crews in "bucket trucks" will work to clear accumulated snow from traffic signals that were covered.

Motorists are reminded to treat non-functioning traffic signals as a four-way stop; four signals were non-operational as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the city.

Also: Republic Services was forced to halt trash collection on Wednesday due to the weather; as a result, trash and recycling collection will now be one day later for the rest of the week, culminating in Saturday pickup for those who normally have collection on Friday.