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2200 customers lose power in widespread outage across parts of Brainerd, Baxter

The Brainerd Public Utilities superintendent said the cause of the outage was unknown Monday night.

The power outage map operated by Brainerd Public Utilities showed a widespread outage affecting two separate power feeds across west Brainerd and portions of Baxter Monday night, Dec. 6, 2021. Screenshot / Chelsey Perkins
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The power went out for about 2,200 Brainerd Public Utilities customers beginning shortly before 8 p.m. Monday night, Dec. 6, as temperatures remained below zero and the wind made it feel even colder.

Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent, reported power was restored for 1,400 of the customers after 52 minutes, while the remaining 800 customers spent a half-hour longer in the dark until restoration was possible.

The outage extended west of the Mississippi River and included west Brainerd and residences along Riverside Drive as well as portions of Baxter, including Mills GM, Super One Foods, Kohls, Fleet Farm and other locations along the Highway 210 corridor. A second feed that went out runs down Thiesse Road through the industrial park and near Central Lakes College. That outage included the BPU service center itself.

Magnuson said the cause of the outage was unknown Monday night.

Baxter police responded to a crash at the intersection of Highway 371 and Excelsior Drive within moments of the outage, with the lack of stoplights a contributing factor. Sgt. Matt Maier reported a truck pulling a trailer was eastbound on Excelsior and attempting to turn onto northbound Highway 371, when a car headed northbound failed to stop at the unlit intersection and struck the truck. The crash did not result in injuries. Maier noted it happened so soon after the outage with no one yet directing traffic, it was possible the driver of the car wasn’t aware of the stoplights at all.


A little later, law enforcement officers stationed themselves with lights flashing at stoplights along Highway 210 west of the river, providing notice to drivers of an impending intersection.

The Brainerd Fire Department was also called to a report of smoke filling a home after the outage on the 100 block of Nikkohl Road. Fire Chief Tim Holmes reported the call was determined to be unfounded.

Chelsey Perkins is the community editor of the Brainerd Dispatch. A lakes area native, Perkins joined the Dispatch staff in 2014. She is the Crow Wing County government beat reporter and the producer and primary host of the "Brainerd Dispatch Minute" podcast.
Reach her at chelsey.perkins@brainerddispatch.com or at 218-855-5874 and find @DispatchChelsey on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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