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BREAKING NEWS UPDATE - Ike's remnants pummel county with hurricane-force winds

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By The Staff

(NOTE: An update to a story we posted at 9 a.m. Monday is included beginning with the eighth paragraph of this story.) PERRY COUNTY - A 22-year-old man died Sunday and at least one other person was injured as powerful winds blasted over the county, sending trees crashing onto homes and cars and across city streets and county roads. Hundreds of people were still without power Monday morning as Southern Indiana Power crews worked to repair lines in Perry and Spencer counties downed by trees and limbs.

Perry County was placed under a state of emergency Sunday afternoon and residents were asked to refrain from traveling in storm-damaged areas. The order did not close roadways but officials asked people to remain at home.

The remnants of Hurricane Ike, combining with a powerful cold front, generated winds police estimated were in excess of 70 mph for approximately two hours, leaving widespread damage across much of Indiana. Central and northern areas of Indiana received heavy rains but little or no rain fell in Perry County Sunday. Classes at Perry Central Community School were called off Monday.

Travis Cronin, 22, died when a limb fell on him at 12790 Deer Creek Road. Cronin was using a rope to pull the limb, which had become entangled in the branches of other trees, when it came crashing down, striking him on the head. "The limb sprang in a direction no one was expecting," Coroner Darrel Riley said.

(Editor's Note: This story initially identified the victim as Travis "Troy" Cronin, based on written information from the coroner's office. We appreciate a reader alerting us to the error.)

Tell City's post office, Laurel's Floral, EverBody's Fitness Center, Hideaway tavern and William Tell Woodcrafters suffered major roof damage as wind peeled away sheets of metal. Asphalt roofing shingles were blown from homes in many parts of the county.

A large tree crashed through the roof at 15 11th Street and several trees were down in City Hall Park. Trees were also reported down in Cannelton and Troy.

Rural areas of Perry County were also hard hit. Several barns were reportedly flattened and the wind knocked over maturing corn in many fields.

UPDATE: Southern Indiana Power line crews are continuing their efforts to restore power as soon as possible to all customers experiencing outages from yesterday's extreme windstorm.

Linemen from other Indiana cooperatives have been requested in helping Southern Indiana Power line crews in areas of both Perry and Spencer counties affected by wind damage.

More than 3,200 customers lost power and many veteran linemen have called the damage to the electric cooperative's delivery system, an unusual weather event that rarely occurs in our area.

Southern Indiana Power is following standard utility practice in repairing and energizing its lines. Feeder and primary lines are being repaired first, then secondary lines, then service lines. This method restores power to the greatest number of people in the shortest amount of time.

The cooperative wants to assure consumers that all possible efforts are being made to safely restore power as soon as possible, but some homes may be without power until Friday. Residents are reminded to stay away from downed electric lines and to make sure to avoid contact with power lines while cleaning up trees or debris from the storm.

Some county roads still closed because of downed trees or power lines:

Atlanta

Gerald

Scotch Pine

Sulphur Springs

Millstone

Avery Ridge

The News is continuing to gather details about Sunday's windstorm. Watch for further updates. Readers are invited to submit photos of damage for posting on The News' Web site. Forward photos to editor@perrycountynews.com. Please include the location and a brief summary of the damage.