Up and down Greenwood’s Bomar Lane, branches and limbs littered the yards and roadway.
Pine trees bent under the weight of snow and ice. In some cases, the trees had split and lay on the ground.
Those downed trees were the cause of the outage that left residents of Bomar Lane without power for more than two days. They were a handful of the nearly 150 customers of Indianapolis Power & Light living in Johnson County who lost electricity after Sunday’s snowstorm.
“We have so many trees on this back line here that I’m sure a tree or limb fell and broke the line,” said Darrell Key, a resident of Bomar Lane. “There are some downed evergreen trees that were probably the cause.”
Throughout Johnson County, more than 2,400 homes receive power from Indianapolis Power & Light, according to spokeswoman Brandi Davis-Handy. After the snow fell on Sunday, 139 customers reported power outages.
Linesmen were out working on the problems starting Sunday night. The company reported nearly 65,000 customers without power.
The heavy snow, then bitter cold and wind proved to be a formidable obstacle to getting the electricity turned back on, Davis-Handy said.
“The biggest challenge has been the weather itself. What caused these outages is what has slowed down the process,” she said. “Our line crews have a hard enough job as it was, and to add in snow and low temperatures, high wind, it makes it much more hard.”
Workers put in 16-hour shifts, taking precautions against frostbite and hypothermia while working on the downed lines and overloaded transformers.
As many as 3,600 Indianapolis Power & Light customers still were without power as of Wednesday morning. But all of the homes in Johnson County had been restored, Davis-Handy said.
On Wednesday morning, Key was checking to see if his pipes had frozen while the heat was off. He had taken precautions to ensure that nothing burst. As soon as the power went out, he turned off the water throughout the entire house.
To keep his toilets from icing up, he added antifreeze to the water.
“You put it in there, and it won’t freeze up. Most people don’t think about that,” Key said.
Key wasn’t at home when the power went out about 6:30 p.m. Sunday. He had been out checking on his father. With no electricity, he drove his wife and daughter in his truck to stay with his sister.
For the first day, Key stayed in the house, making sure no immediate damage was evident. Eventually, he joined his family at his sister’s. Now that the power was turned back, they were surveying the damage from the cold.
“We’re getting ready to check and find out if anything burst. I think we’ll be OK, but we have to get underneath the house to see,” he said.