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 Wind Damage Results in Injury to Town Employee

September 17, 2008 - The remnants of Hurricane Ike brought damaging winds that lasted most of the day Sunday and caused some damage throughout the Knightstown area, as well as most of the state.

One local injury was reported to local law enforcement. Knightstown Electric Department employee Rick Hall suffered third-degree burns while trying to repair a transformer, and is still undergoing treatment at the Wishard Memorial Hospital Burn Center in Indianapolis.

Town Manager Mel Matlock said Tuesday morning that Hall came into contact with a power line while making repairs. Firefighters on the scene said Hall was temporarily knocked unconscious. He was taken by Southwest District Ambulance Service to Hancock Regional Hospital, and later transferred to Wishard. Hall suffered third degree burns to his arm and back. Doctors will likely decide today (Wednesday) whether or not Hall will need skin grafting, Matlock said.

Trees were downed as winds ranging from 30-50 miles per hours sent debris throughout the community during most of the day. Knightstown utility department workers, assisted by some volunteer firefighters, worked through the night to restore downed lines and remove debris.

Knightstown electric department foreman Larry Rumple said the damage was minor compared to the May storm that leveled trees throughout the community. Rumple was called in to work at 5:30 p.m. Sunday and was still on the job at 2:30 p.m. Monday, although at that point he was preparing to go home.

Statewide, seven deaths were blamed on heavy rains and strong winds that swept across Indiana over the weekend, according to the state Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Website.

Locally the area did not receive the massive amounts of rainfall and the damage was, for the most part, limited to the strong winds causing some fallen trees and downed power lines. One fallen tree demolished a garage on south Washington St.

Knightstown reported a portion of the town’s utility customers were without power for a time Sunday, and that by Monday morning all power had been restored. DHS estimated 200,000 people were without power statewide late Sunday night.

According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts reached in excess of 60 mph in Henry County Sunday afternoon.


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