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Wintry winds zap power across city

E. State area hit hard; key streets lose traffic lights

– Crews worked into the night to restore power to more than 18,000 homes and businesses that lost electricity Friday in the Fort Wayne area, according to Indiana Michigan Power.

High winds Friday morning knocked out electricity to about 1,500 customers scattered around the area, utility spokeswoman Sarah Bodner said. All but 10 of those customers had power by Friday evening, she said.

About 2 p.m., however, a fault between two substations led to a breaker failure that triggered a second wave of outages in Fort Wayne. About 17,000 customers lost power north of State Boulevard and east of Coliseum Boulevard, Bodner said.

What caused the fault was not clear late Friday.

That second wave of outages was expected to be repaired by midnight, she said. As of about 9:45 p.m., about 10,200 customers were without electricity, according to the utility’s website.

The outage blacked out traffic signals at numerous intersections in Fort Wayne. At 5:30 p.m., those intersections included Coliseum at State, Coliseum at Vance, Hobson at Vance, St. Joe at St. Joe Center, State at Maplecrest, State at Reed, State at Beacon, State at Carew, State at Hobson, Rothman at Maplecrest and Maplecrest at Trier. Temporary stop signs were placed at those intersections, city officials said.

Meteorologist Evan Bentley of the National Weather Service said Fort Wayne had about 1.3 inches of snow and a maximum wind speed of 48 mph Friday morning.

Bentley said that wind, which took down many trees, will subside today. The weather service predicts partly cloudy skies and a high temperature slightly above freezing.

“It will definitely feel nippy out there,” he said.