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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Storm hampers hospital operations

Monday, July 21, 2008

(Photo)
Shrouded in smoke, Greencastle firefighters put out a fire caused by a lightning strike at the home at 3 Sunset Drive Sunday evening.
Severe storms that rolled through Putnam County Sunday night caused fires and led to major electrical problems at Putnam County Hospital.

At one point Sunday evening, emergency officials responding to the hospital thought they were going to have to evacuate the building because of smoke and equipment failures, the latter caused by electrical surges.

Greencastle Fire Chief Bill Newgent said he could not be sure, however it is likely that a lightning strike was to blame for the problems at the hospital. At one, smoke filled the radiology department of the hospital, Newgent said.

Also, lights were flickering on and off throughout the building.

A crew from power provider Duke Energy was called to investigate the problems at the hospital.

There were no reported injuries at the hospital, but crews from GFD, Cloverdale Township, Operation Life, PMH, Putnam County Sheriff's Department, Roachdale Fire and Greencastle Police stood by for several hours following the storms.

Elsewhere in the city, firefighters responded to a house on fire on Sunset Drive. Smoke could be seen coming out of the eaves of the home, but the damage appeared to be primarily confined to the inside of the home.

Newgent said it was too early to determine the amount of damage to the home, however, he felt it was extensive. Lightning is believed to have been the cause of the fire, he said.

Also across the county, a tree was said to have been on fire on CR 550 East, near Fillmore. A tree was reported over the roadway on U.S. 40 East near CR 725 East. Power lines were down in the vicinity of U.S. 231 South in Putnam County.

Across the state, according to the Associated Press, the storm left more than 30,000 people without power Sunday evening.

Duke Energy reported a total of 28,000 customers had been without power at some point Sunday, while about 21,000 remained without power at 7:15 p.m. Another 3,700 Indianapolis Power and Light customers also were without power.

The biggest outage was in Hendricks County just west of Indianapolis, where nearly 5,700 Duke Energy customers were without power. About the same number lost power at some point in Johnson County south of the city, and nearly 4,000 remained without power Sunday night. Some 3,300 were without power in Morgan County.

Another 2,000 were without electricity in Bartholomew County, where trees and power lines were reported down throughout Columbus.



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