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90 m.p.h. Winds Put 18,000 in the Dark

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Tim Jagielo
Evansville City Workers assess a tree which fell into the roadway on Washington Avenue, bending a road sign in the process. This was one of many problems created by the high winds on Friday March 3.
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File Photo
Several utility poles are damaged following the storm that blew through the area Friday early afternoon. CenterPoint Energy reported more than 18,000 without power as of late afternoon.

The metal legs of a road barricade scrape across the wet asphalt of Washington Avenue in Evansville Friday Afternoon, pushed by a gust of wind.

Four sandbags aren't enough, so Kyle Watson and Rob Giles with the Street Maintenance Crew end up just laying them down.

They’ve been fighting to keep these barricades up, so utility crews can begin replacing the four utility poles broken by the high winds on Friday afternoon.

The severe weather on Friday, March 3 included a tornado touch-down near Evansville and 90 mile-per hour winds, which cut power to thousands. It also posed a challenge for the city of Evansville’s street maintenance crew.

The wind did cause some severe damage. For example the roof of St. Joseph Church blew off, and many trees were felled, landing on vehicles and blocking streets.

A large fallen branch bent a road sign in Haynie’s Corner, blocking that section of Washington Avenue. City workers were able to remove the tree in about an hour. There were also several vehicle crashes.

While major damage is not widespread, power outages are — more than 18,000 are without power from Mt. Vernon to Princeton to Jasper, with uncertain restoration times.

A tornado warning was issued early Friday afternoon, likely sending employees to the closest shelter available. “City employees at the Civic Center were briefly evacuated to the first floor hallway during the Tornado Warning,” said Noah Stubbs, spokesperson for the city.

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Tim Jagielo
City worker Kyle Watson (right) replaces his hat after it was tossed by the wind on Friday. Watson and Rob Giles (left) are trying to keep barricades up, but the wind just slid them across the street.