ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Minnesota Power responds after tornado, severe storms hit region

Early damage assessment indicates restoration will be a multi-day event.

Minnesota Power outage map
The Minnesota Power website map shows power outages in its coverage area along with an estimated time when power may be restored.
Contributed / Minnesota Power
We are part of The Trust Project.

Minnesota Power reported the company is responding safely and as quickly as possible to restore power after at least one tornado and severe thunderstorms caused significant damage throughout the western part of the state on Monday, May 30.

“Because of the scope and scale of the damage to power lines and other infrastructure, we expect this will be a multi-day outage for some customers. The storms hit much of Minnesota, and we expect to request assistance from utilities located outside of Minnesota to support the response.”

A round of severe storms early Monday left nearly 7,000 of our customers without power. Crews

responded and restored power to about 6,000 customers. Another round of severe weather hit Monday afternoon and evening, including at least one confirmed tornado. Some crews were forced to shelter in place in Todd County before resuming restoration work related to the morning storms, Minnesota Power reported. “Multiple power lines and power poles are down across our service area, causing numerous outages affecting about 14,000 customers as of 8 p.m. Monday.”

The hardest hit areas include Little Falls, Eagle Bend, Clarissa, Browerville, Pequot Lakes, Crosby, Ironton, Deerwood, Nisswa, Pine River, Verndale and Pequot Lakes. Other outages are scattered across the region including the Iron Range area and International Falls as of 8 p.m. Monday. Minnesota Power reported all available line crews are in the field working, though most damage assessment may not be possible until Tuesday morning.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The safety of our crews and customers is of top priority during this outage response. Stay clear of downed power lines, poles and wires. Keep pets and children away from those areas. Do not attempt to touch or lift any wire with poles or sticks. Do not get out of your vehicle on or near wires. All power lines should be considered energized and dangerous,” the company reported. “Our customers’ patience is appreciated as we recognize the inconvenience caused by the outages. Power restoration in this situation is a phased approach. Public safety and critical infrastructure are the first priorities.”

The company noted its crews begin with the larger transmission lines, move to the primary distribution lines, then move into neighborhoods to repair individual services.

“This approach allows us to restore power to a larger number of customers as quickly as possible, helps eliminate exposure to hazardous safety conditions such as low-hanging energized lines, and allows us to restore critical loads such as hospitals and public safety as quickly as possible,” Minnesota Power reported. “Damaged transformers serving multiple customers are repaired first, then transformers serving individual customers.”

Some customers who have damage to their electric service meter and mast will need to contact an electrical contractor for repairs before Minnesota Power can restore power to the residence, the Duluth-based company stated.

For the latest outage information, Minnesota Power encourages customers to visit the Minnesota Power Outage Center at www.mnpower.com/OutageCenter and download the Minnesota Power mobile app for smartphones and tablets at www.mnpower.com/MobileApp . Customers also can follow Minnesota Power on Facebook and Twitter to get outage updates.

Our newsroom occasionally reports stories under a byline of "staff." Often, the "staff" byline is used when rewriting basic news briefs that originate from official sources, such as a city press release about a road closure, and which require little or no reporting. At times, this byline is used when a news story includes numerous authors or when the story is formed by aggregating previously reported news from various sources. If outside sources are used, it is noted within the story.

Hi, I'm the Brainerd Dispatch. I started working a few days before Christmas in 1881 and became a daily paper two years later. I've gone through a lot of changes over the years, but what has never changed is my commitment to community and to local journalism. I've got an entire team of dedicated people who work night and day to make sure I go out every morning, whether in print, as an e-edition, via an app or with additional information at www.brainerddispatch.com. News, weather, sports — videos, photos, podcasts and social media — all covering stories from central Minnesota about your neighbors, your lakes, your communities, your challenges and your opportunities. It's all part of the effort to keep people connected and informed. And we couldn't do it without support.
What To Read Next
The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office received a report at 10:11 a.m. of a vehicle on fire inside a detached garage at a residence in Shell River Township near Menahga.
The Wadena County Sheriff’s Office received a report at 7:59 a.m. of the crash, which occurred on Highway 71 just north of Hewitt.
According to the sheriff’s office, the man said he was riding his Arctic Cat Firecat F7 snowmobile on the trail when he went around a corner and struck a tree head-on.
The sheriff’s office received a 911 call reporting the fatal crash at 4:55 p.m. Saturday on 72nd Street Southwest in Byron Township near Staples.