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Severe Storms Leave Trees Toppled, Power Lines Wrapped Around Houses In Northwest Indiana

HIGHLAND, Ind. (CBS) -- Storms in Northwest Indiana brought winds so strong they snapped power poles in two, and left a trail of severe damage on Wednesday.

As CBS 2's Marissa Parra reported Wednesday afternoon, Highland, Indiana was hit particularly hard. The damage there is so severe that it has prevented some people from even leaving their homes.

Downed power lines were in some instances just feet away from front doors – or on top of houses.

"I was actually making coffee in the morning and then, 'Boom!' This thing just hit," said Jason Novak. "I heard an explosion."

Novak's wife saw a flash of white so bright, she thought it was a bolt of lightning. It was not. It was a utility pole coming to a crash landing in front of their very home.

"Literally came about two feet from my door," Novak said.

Four towering utility poles were split in half, intruding onto front yards like unwelcome guests.

Power lines were draped across rooftops or even wrapped around some homes, trapping some of the residents inside.

About three miles southwest in Munster, Indiana, longtime resident Ruth had her own close call.

"Nature took hold and I can't get out of my driveway," Ruth said.

Ruth was inside by herself using the computer when suddenly, everything shut off as she heard the wind roar.

"Then when I looked I went, 'Oh, my tree!'" Ruth said. "Thank God, thank God it didn't hit the house."

But for all the downed trees and power lines, the ones we saw – while wreaking havoc at intersections and on yards – so far seem to have spared the people who live in the area.

"I'm afraid to get in the car right now for obvious reasons. I had to do a bear crawl, so thank God for my football coach teaching me how to bear crawl underneath the lines," Novak said. "God is great, we are safe, my family's safe, my neighbors are safe, really grateful to the good Lord."

As for the lines and poles, NIPSCO said they could all be restored as soon as late Wednesday night. But it could also be a few days, depending on how the weather holds up.

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