OAKLAND CITY, Ind. (WEHT) – Severe storms with damaging winds raced across Gibson County Friday morning. Uprooted trees and snapped branches took down power lines, at one point knocking out power to an estimated 95% of Oakland City. The storms proved to be an early wake-up call for residents, and an early start to the day for first responders.
“We’re stretched pretty thin, just like the rest of the county,” says East Gibson Fire Territory Captain Ed Brown.
Damage was fairly widespread with as many as 5,000 Duke Energy customers without power to start the day. Oakland City Police Chief Tim Gaines says while the damage was significant in some areas, he believes it could have been worse.
“The fact that we don’t have more trees down is a great thing. It’s kind of amazing,” says Chief Gaines.
Oakland City resident Kaitlyn Riggs was inside her home with her mother and father when the storm moved through. She described the sound of the wind as a car trying to start, saying she also saw debris flying past her window.
“It is an interesting wake up call to have when you’re just trying to eat your scrambled eggs and start your morning, but you know, Mother Nature decided against it, apparently,” says Riggs.
The Riggs family home was spared from damage. A large limb directly above the house was snapped, but fortunately landed away from the home in the front yard.
“That’s what I thought when you see a huge branch like that is, ‘Oh, our house is probably crumbled’,” explains Kaitlyn. “But it was very intimidating staring at the inside of a tree that you’re not usually supposed to see.”
Riggs says she is happy no one was injured and was thankful that power was being restored to her neighborhood.