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1,800 I&M customers in Fort Wayne area without power

Strong thunderstorms that swept through northeast and east central Indiana on Wednesday afternoon left about 9,000 Indiana Michigan Power customers without power, I&M spokesman Tracy Warner said.

About 1,800 customers in the Fort Wayne area lost service. Power for those customers is expected to be completely restored by midnight Thursday, he said

Power in the Decatur area is expected to be fully restored by 6 a.m. Thursday., Warner said

Damage was heavier south of Fort Wayne. The Marion area incurred the most outages, after wind gusts of 60 to 64 mph left15 poles down and about 5,500 customers without electric service. The Hartford City area was also hit heavily, with about 1,600 customers losing power.

Restoration efforts in those areas will continue tonight and Thursday with the assistance of additional I&M crews and contractors from other areas.

Power for Grant, Blackford and Delaware counties is expected to be completely restored by midnight Thursday night.