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Storm-related stress increases for Bloomington Animal Care & Control



Bloomington, Indiana – Following the storms on Tuesday, over 20,000 individuals in Monroe County remained without power as of Wednesday night.

Across the county, the strong winds toppled trees, many of which brought down power lines. Although cleanup crews have been working nonstop, it can take some time before all electricity is restored.

A full day later, a few petrol stations were still closed. A few streetlights were not working. After being torn from the ground by winds of up to 70 miles per hour, several trees stayed exactly where they fell.

“We were all here doing our normal thing and suddenly the lights went off and trees were sideways and it was dark,” Emily Herr, outreach and behavior coordinator for Bloomington Animal Care & Control, said.

Like thousands of homes in the neighborhood, Bloomington Animal Care & Control’s lights were still out on Wednesday night.

“We’re kind of doing the best we can working with headlamps, flashlights, just keep on moving,” Herr said.

In the hopes that the already-sweltering weather won’t grow any worse, the staff must discard bedding that is unwashable and depends on contributions until their laundry machines are operational again.

“Right now, our focus is keeping the animals safe and happy and at a temperature where they’re comfortable,” Herr added. “We’ve got lots of windows open, just doing the best we can for everyone in our care.”

With 300 animals housed there, the shelter is already well overcrowded and anticipates an increase in animals as a result of the storm, further taxing its limited resources.

“We already have a lot of animals in our care so if there are people out there who are considering adding a new family member we encourage them to come down or go to their local animal shelter and adopt,” Herr said. “There’s a national crisis in animal shelters across the country and the best way to help is to support by adoption.”

According to a Duke Energy representative, 700 more employees have been sent to Indiana to assist with the effort, which is expected to restore power to the majority of customers by Thursday night.

“The terrain is really quite rough in Monroe County specifically,” Duke Energy Senior Communications Manager Mckenzie Barbknecht said. “And that has been a challenge for our crews to navigate, but they are working just as quickly and safely as possible to ensure that all of our customers get restored just as soon as they can.”

If you have any damage to report, Monroe County EMA asks that you call Indiana 211. Meanwhile, police are encouraging people to stay at home until the cleanup is completed.