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'It's overwhelming': Severe storms leave damage, power outages in Monroe County

s many as 95,000 outages were reported statewide after severe storms slammed southern Indiana
Posted at 11:40 PM, Jun 26, 2024

BLOOMINGTON — Thousands of Hoosiers are still waiting for their lights to be turned back. As many as 95,000 outages were reported statewide after severe storms slammed southern Indiana and left behind widespread damage.

Monroe County is dealing with the aftermath of that severe weather that caused officials to issue alocal disaster declaration Tuesday.

"It's overwhelming really,” said Palepoa Tofilau whose yard was completely devastated on the Southwest side of Bloomington.

Bloomington Storm Damage

"We built my kids' tree house that's gone. All our work vehicles gone. Every year we go camping we use our platoon boat that's gone, and my wife's vehicle also gone,” he said.

Tofilau was out in his yard Wednesday with his family cleaning up the tree limbs, and debris spread all across his property.

He’s among dozens of residents who saw damage after straight-line winds whipped through Monroe, Owen, Virgo, and Clay counties damaging homes.

Bloomington Storm Damage

"Well, there's a lot of damage and it's pretty widespread,” explained David Hosick, the spokesperson for Indiana Homeland Security. "Crews will be going home to home in the strong winds and the storm to determine how widespread the damage is."

Duke Energy says they saw more than 95,000 outages, many in Monroe County in areas hit with high winds up to more than 70 miles per hour.

RELATED | Monroe County opens cooling stations for residents without power (

“Bloomington and Terre Haute are really ground zero in terms of the damage that we're seeing,” said McKenzie Barbknect, the Senior Communications Manager at Duke Energy.

Barbknect says the terrain in Bloomington is hindering crews efforts to restore power as quickly as they’ve like, so they’ve brought in 700 additional resources working around the clock to help with those restorations efforts.

“That includes linemen, damage assessors, tree clearing workers all of them are on the ground and some of our hardest hit areas,” she Barbknect.

RELATED VIDEO | Disaster emergency declaration announced for Monroe County

Local disaster emergency declaration announced for Monroe County

Because of the severity of those storms, the County’s Emergency Management Agency is working with Indiana Homeland Security, and Duke Energy along with other organizations to restore and rebuild as soon as quick as they can.

"At this point it's still making sure people have shelter, making sure people have water and food,” said Hosick.

Residents can report damage or reach out for assistance by calling 211 or visiting the website.

If you are without power, there will be cooling centers available throughout the county along with water distributions.

Currently officials say there are no confirmed injuries.

Duke Energy also expects power to be fully restored by midnight Thursday.

To stay updated on outages click here.