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Police and fire

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Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Sheriff’s cars block the intersection of Hamilton and Smith roads after power lines were knocked over during Sunday’s storms.

Locally, storms leave no significant damage

Sunday’s much-anticipated storm fizzled out with little more than drizzle and wind gusts throughout most of Allen County, weather officials said.

Wind gusts traveling at 55 mph were met with about 1 inch of rainfall throughout Allen County on Sunday, according to Nick Greenawalt, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Syracuse.

There were a few reports of electrical wires down and debris in the roadways, but most of the destruction struck south and west of the city, Greenawalt said.

“New Haven had a bunch of trees down and as the storm progressed, the strongest part was south of Fort Wayne where we heard some additional reports of damage,” he said.

On the city’s southwest side, a 24-foot trailer near U.S. 24 turned over, and reports of trees scattered across the road began to roll in shortly after the storm passed, Greenawalt said.

Although most of the county avoided damage, not all residents were spared as about 8,400 homes were left without power for the evening.

By 9 p.m., Indiana Michigan Power reported 7,528 Allen County customers were left without power because of downed power lines.

Crews were sent to work through the night to respond to emergency situations and help restore power, according to an Indiana Michigan Power statement.

Fort Wayne Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jeremy Tinkel said there were several minor vehicle accidents throughout the county early Sunday evening, but none resulted in injuries.

Southwest Fire District crews worked for several hours to clear debris from several roads after winds wrecked five structures – including sheds and pole buildings – and knocked down about 10 telephone poles, Chief Don Patnoude said.

“Those sheds and pole buildings were completely destroyed and we had 13 houses that had minor to moderate damage,” Patnoude said.

The damage was limited to a line of homes, but the debris area spread to about 2 miles, he said. There were no reported injuries.

Patnoude said one resident reported seeing a funnel cloud in the area, but as of Sunday night, the sighting had not been confirmed.

City firefighters were called out for several downed power lines, but none resulted in fires, Fort Wayne Police Department spokeswoman Stacey Fleming said.

Fleming said crews responded to a call about a possible structure fire, but firefighters, finding nothing, cleared the area a short time later.

Winds were expected to diminish Sunday night, with speeds of about 15 to 25 mph, Greenawalt said.

Today’s forecast, though significantly cooler, includes a mix of sun and clouds with temperatures in the mid-40s.

Tonight, temperatures are expected to drop to the upper 20s and highs will return to the mid-40s Tuesday, he said.

By Wednesday, temperatures will warm up a few degrees, and the next chance of rain is Wednesday night, Greenawalt said.

“As we head into the next couple weeks, it looks like we’ll be in the mid- to upper40s, which is right near normal,” he said.