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.