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Storms Rock Region Monday Afternoon

Tom Maloney

NORTHWEST INDIANA - A severe thunderstorm hit Northwest Indiana Monday afternoon that brought high winds, heavy rain and knocked out power to about 21,800 NIPSCO customers.

During the afternoon on Monday Northwest Indiana was under a severe thunderstorm watch that was expected to possibly bring  winds up to 100 miles per hour.

Meteorologist Brian Leatherwood with the Chicago National Weather Service in Romeoville told Lakeshore Public Radio before the storm that everyone should take cover.  

"We've been looking at this line of storms that are moving pretty much west to east at approximately 70 miles-per-hour," Leatherwood says.  "They have a history of producing very strong winds.  When they were in Iowa we had gusts above 100 miles-per-hour.  We're still seeing easily gusts in the 40 to 60 miles-per-hour associated with it.  We've got it timed, looks like it's going to get to the state border approximately 4 p.m. central time.  The northern portion of these storms has actually produced some tornadic activity, so those cannot be ruled out.  We're also getting reports of quarter sized hail with some of the storms also.  It's a very fast moving storm.  It's been picking up debris and throwing it through walls.  Some of the damage even looks tornadic in activity."

The initial storm will passed quickly but heavy rains followed it.

The severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Lake, Porter, Jasper, Newton and Benton Counties. The warning was in effect from 3:30 p.m. until 5 p.m.


Sharon Jackson is the local host of "All Things Considered" and a reporter for Lakeshore Public Radio. She has been with 89.1 FM since its launch in 2009. Sharon is also a radio DJ in Chicago, and has been since 2004. In her previous job at Metro Networks/Westwood One, she was heard on am 890 WLS, WGN radio 720 am and am 560 WIND. She has also delivered news and traffic reports on radio stations all over Chicago and the suburbs including 95.9 The River, 98.3 WCCQ and Star 96.7.