Thousands without power in Twin Cities following early Friday storm

·2 min read

Sep. 17—Residents in the Twin Cities awoke Friday to downed trees and power outages following a thunderstorm that blew through the area about 3 a.m.

As of 7:30 p.m., there were 862 outages affecting 12,617 Xcel Energy customers in Minnesota and western Wisconsin down from 61,000. Dakota Electric, which has customers in Dakota, Goodhue, Rice and Scott counties, reported about 3,000 without power Friday morning.

"We just thank people for their patience," said Joe Miller, spokesman for Dakota Electric. "I think it's been a number of years since we saw something this significant move through our area. We've got all crews out there working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible."

Xcel had about 300 employees and contractors out working to restore power Friday morning, with more expected to be added later today, the company said in a statement.

In St. Paul, 5,757 Xcel customers lost power. Stillwater reported about 3,190 and in Hudson, 7,691 were in the dark Friday morning.

Dakota Electric customers were hardest hit in Burnsville, Apple Valley and Eagan, Miller said.

The company could not give specifics, as the power outage map on its website had been knocked offline.

Residents out and about Friday are cautioned to stay away from downed power lines. Always assume an electric line, even one that is on or near the ground, is energized and dangerous. Never touch or move a downed power line. Downed power lines should be reported immediately by calling 1-800-895-1999.

St. Paul firefighters were busy responding to seven reports of power lines that had been downed by the storm between about 3:15 to 4 a.m., said Deputy Fire Chief Roy Mokosso. No fires were reported.

The storms also delayed classes at several schools across the metro including Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district.

"Due to significant storm damage in parts of the district, all schools will start two hours late today, September 17, 2021. Rosemount Elementary and Rosemount Middle are canceled as Xcel Energy works to restore power. All after-school activities and events are also canceled at these schools," the district said in a post on social media.

Stillwater Area Schools also announced delays and, in some cases, canceled in-person instruction due to the storms. For more information go to https://www.stillwaterschools.org/

Mara H. Gottfried contributed to this story.

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