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Lightning strike cause of power outages in Columbus

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — Approximately 550 homes and businesses lost their electricity this morning due to a lightning strike in the area of Central Avenue and State Street this morning, according to a Duke Energy official.

District manager Chip Orben said the lightning struck a primary utility line behind Mariah Foods, next to Haw Creek, between 7:15 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

After the traffic signal at the intersection of State and Second streets went out, stop signs and barricades were used to control the flow of morning rush hour traffic. A police car with it's lights flashing was placed on a concrete median to alert drivers of the problem. 

Most affected homes and businesses had their power back on by 8:45 a.m. But Orben said 58 of his customers had to wait until 9:30 a.m. before their electricity was restored.

Smaller, scattered outages have been reported throughout Bartholomew County this morning. Orben said that with strong winds predicted throughout the region today, he anticipates more of his customers will lose their electricity as the result of falling trees or branches.  

Customers without power are asked to call 1-800-343-3525.

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