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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Brothers Noe, left, and William Martin pick up a fallen tree in the 1200 block of Rivermet on Monday.

Fort Wayne asks county to declare state of emergency

Statement as issued Monday by the city of Fort Wayne:

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Mayor Tom Henry has asked the Allen County Commissioners to declare a State of Emergency, in the aftermath of Friday’s severe storm. The extreme weather took down at least 500 trees, forced the closing of area businesses and continues to leave 54,000 area customers without power.

“In times of need we stand together,” said Mayor Henry. “The magnitude of the recent storm disaster and the pain it has caused for thousands of our citizens has brought us all together today. We are here to assure the community that all available resources are being deployed to restore power, remove debris, help those in need and keep Fort Wayne and Allen County safe and secure. Today, we are also asking that a State of Emergency be declared to begin the process of applying for federal disaster assistance.”

City and county crews, local service providers, businesses and residents throughout the area have worked on rotating shifts to remove trees, restore traffic signals and clear streets of debris. Indiana Michigan Power has brought in crews from surrounding states to help restore power; they expect to have power restored to 80 percent of Allen County by Wednesday night.

About 38 traffic signals remained non-functioning Monday afternoon. Residents are reminded to treat those intersections as a four-way stop. (See attached list of intersections with non-functioning traffic signals).

Crews from the Parks and Public Works Divisions, along with private tree companies, have been out all weekend, removing trees that are blocking streets and roads. Ardmore Avenue remains closed, due to downed power lines, but is expected to reopen yet today.

Due to an overwhelming response, the City’s Biosolids Facility has extended its hours of operation to 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4. Beginning today, there will be no fees at the Biosolids Facility which is located at 6210 Lake Ave., just west of Maplecrest Road.

Trees and branches can be taken to three additional locations. They are:

Parking lot at Swinney Park Pool

Tillman Dump, which is west of the park entrance on Tillman Road

Parking lot at Shoaff Park, near Cocklin Pavilion

Residents are reminded NOT to push debris into the street, which would hamper clean-up efforts. Instead, residents are welcome to move debris from their yard to the right-of-way for pick-up.

The City of Fort Wayne will also begin picking up debris at the curb (not in alleys), later this week. A schedule for curbside debris pick-up will be announced on Tuesday. Brush piles will not be picked up with the normal garbage collection.

Emergency and medical officials are asking residents to check on senior citizens, homebound residents or those with limited resources who may be stranded inside their homes, without phone service and without power.

The American Red Cross Shelter is continuing to provide shelter for those who are not able to stay in their homes because of storm damage or an extended power outage. Residents can also go to the shelter to take a shower or get a hot meal. The shelter is located at the First Assembly of God Church, 1400 West Washington Center Rd., at Lima Road. Residents should enter door number 5.

Four City cooling centers will be open Monday and Tuesday to provide relief to residents. Cooling Center locations and hours are as follows:

The Community Center, 233 West Main Street, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Jerry Fox Lifetime Sports Academy at the McMillen Park Golf Clubhouse, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Jennings Center, 1330 McCulloch St., 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Public Safety Academy, 7602 Patriot Crossing, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Residents are reminded that the countywide burn ban remains in effect. Those caught burning brush or lighting unpermitted fireworks can be charged with a misdemeanor.

Residents are also reminded to stay away from all downed power lines.

To report sparking power lines, or trees or light poles that have fallen and are blocking streets this weekend, residents should call 911.

To report trees from the park strip that have fallen and are partially blocking a sidewalk or street, residents should call 311 and leave a message.

To report a power outage, residents should call Indiana Michigan Power at 1-800-311-4634.

Send items for The Scoop to jgnews@jg.net.

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