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Lights coming back on for lakes area residents

Dan Witucki with Sportsman's Tree Care and Landscaping works Wednesday on downed trees near Lakeshore Drive in Breezy Point. Steve Kohls/ Brainerd Dispatch

The lights are coming back on for Brainerd lakes area residents who lost power after a line of powerful thunderstorms rolled through early Wednesday morning.

The storm hit the area about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday and downed numerous trees. The National Weather Service in Duluth received reports of multiple trees down in Nisswa, Aitkin, Pequot Lakes, Breezy Point, Crosslake, Fifty Lakes and Jenkins.

At its peak, the storm knocked out power for about 4,500 customers, said Char Kinzer, Crow Wing Power public relations manager. There were about 220 without power as of 4 p.m. Thursday. The hope was to have all customers restored by Thursday night, she said.

Crews worked through the night Wednesday to restore power to 300 customers, Kinzer said, and were able to bring another 300 customers back on Thursday morning. There are many smaller one- or two-home outages, she said, which combined with a large service territory, makes for slower restoration.

At the peak, there were about 3,000 Minnesota Power customers without power, including Pine River, Long Prairie, Hackensack, Nisswa and the Gull Lake area, said spokesperson Amy Rutledge. Additional crews were called in to restore power and worked through the night Wednesday, she said.

There were about 280 customers without power in the Jenkins area as of 4 p.m. Thursday, with power expected to be restored by 6 p.m. Crews were stymied by impassable roads and snapped power poles, Rutledge said, which slowed restoration efforts.

A chance of rain is expected to continue through the weekend and into early next week, according to the weather service.

Spenser Bickett

Spenser Bickett covers the Brainerd City Council and education. A native of the Twin Cities, Bickett attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he majored in journalism with a minor in political science. After graduation, he worked for the International Falls Journal as a staff writer before coming to Brainerd.

 
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