By Zach Osowski
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — An Anderson couple received a rude awakening Monday morning when they woke up to a tree on top of their house.
Doug Lum, 79, lives on Scatterfield Road with his wife, Ruth. He said that around 11 p.m. Sunday they were going to bed when they heard a loud noise outside.
"We thought a limb had fallen onto our carport," Lum said. "But we got up and couldn't see anything."
The morning light the next day showed them the damage was far greater than a limb on a carport.
Lum said the ceiling of their laundry room had caved in and there were branches and pieces of their roof all over the front yard. Then his wife looked out back and saw the tree that used to stand in their backyard was now on top of their house.
Wind gusts Sunday night were recorded up to 60 miles per hour in some places across the state. Pendleton recorded one as high as 59.
That gusting wind was what pushed Lum's oak tree onto his house.
"It had to be a really powerful wind gust," Lum said. "Because the roots have been ripped out of the ground and this is a pretty good-sized tree."
Lum said no one was injured and there was nothing they could do until a tree removal team got there to take the tree down and cover the damaged ceiling.
Despite the collapsed ceiling in the laundry room and some crushed roof joists, Lum said they didn't lose power and still have plenty of heat keeping the house warm.
Lum's power stayed on and there weren't a lot of reported power outages anywhere in Madison County on Monday. But with wind and subzero temperatures, several agencies opened warming stations just in case someone did lose power. The locations opened Monday and will run through Tuesday.
The Salvation Army on Meridian Street, Church Upon the Rock and Aletheia Fellowship were the main warming stations in Anderson where people could stop by to warm up.
Dennis Marak, captain of the Anderson Salvation Army, said the city asked them to set up a warming station with the extreme cold this week.
"We try to serve all needs," Marak said. "People deserve to have a place that is comfortable and warm."
Despite the extreme cold on Monday, Marak said they didn't have anyone show up.
Mercy Hospital in Elwood is also open in case anyone loses power up north. Elwood city spokesman Jeff Howe said the hospital has a room open for the next few days specifically for people to come in and get warm.
In an attempt to keep people from walking in the cold, Sam Pellegrino, director of City of Anderson Transit System, announced CATS buses would be providing free transportation Monday and Tuesday.
"Our biggest concern is safety," Pellegrino said in a statement. "So we want to provide an opportunity for everyone to get where they are going safely."
Follow Zach Osowski on Twitter @Osowski_THB, or call 640-4847.
Warming stations set up The following Anderson locations will be offered as warming stations through today. - Salvation Army, 1615 Meridian St. - Church Upon the Rock, 303 E. 29th St. - Aletheia Fellowship, 2505 Faith Drive - East Side Church of God, 2600 E. Fifth St. - Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive - Mercy Hospital Conserve electricity FORT WAYNE - PJM Interconnection, which operates the electricity grid for member utilities - including Indiana Michigan Power - is asking customers to conserve electricity today. Indiana Michigan Power covers the northern half of Madison County. PJM is asking consumers to conserve electricity, if health permits - especially from 6 to 10 a.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. today. Electricity customers can take simple conservation steps: - Set thermostats lower than usual, if health permits. - Postpone using major electric appliances such as stoves, dishwashers and clothes dryers until mid-day or after 9 p.m., when the demand for electricity decreases. - Turn off electric lights and appliances that you do not need or are not using. Find forecasts For updated weather forecasts, go to www.heraldbulletin.com