MINNEAPOLIS — Thousands of Xcel Energy customers are still without power Thursday evening in the wake of widespread, severe storms that downed power lines, flooded roads and toppled trees across the metro and greater Minnesota over the last two days.
According to the Xcel outage map, as of 8:00 a.m. Friday, more than 11,000 people in the metro area were impacted by power outages. That number was closer to 30,000 earlier Thursday, as crews continued to work to restore power from Wednesday's storms.
With more severe weather expected overnight, Xcel crews worked around the clock Thursday to restore power and prepare for the next round of storms.
"This is something that we always look at and plan for and watching the weather days before," said Trisha Duncan with Xcel Energy.
More than 200,000 total customers were impacted by Wednesday night's weather, which prompted dozens of warnings from the National Weather Service, including tornado warnings in the immediate metro.
"We are working throughout the day, we worked during the night, we have about 1,000 employees and contractors working right now diligently," said Duncan. That work includes removing vegetation and downed trees to get power lines restored.
Bill Wylie was inside his condo as storms that ripped through the Twin Cities area left behind a trail of damage and left people in the dark.
"I was watching the Twins game and they stopped the game, and it didn't seem like a big deal, and all of a sudden it was 'kaboom,'" he said. "There was rain, wind, especially the wind freaked me a little bit, and all of a sudden the lights went out."
With more storms on the way, Xcel Energy asks that people stay vigilant and prepared.
"Be cautious of downed power lines, trees, make sure you have your emergency kit available, with food batteries, back up chargers and we always ask for patience and cooperation," said Duncan.
Customers can stay informed by visiting the Xcel Energy website. Additionally, the website hosts an outage map that displays information on the number of customers out and anticipated time for restoration. Customers can also stay informed by following Xcel Energy on Facebook and Twitter.
If you're experiencing a power outage, here's what Xcel Energy says you should do:
- Report your outage online at xcelenergy.com/out
- Text ‘OUT’ to 98936 to report an outage, or text STAT to the same number to check the status of a power outage
- Call 1-800-895-1999 and follow the prompts—the automated phone reporting system lets customers report outages in less than 60 seconds
- Call 1-800-895-1999 to report downed lines or natural gas leaks
Have food in the fridge? If you lost power, keep the fridge and freezer doors closed as long as possible to maintain safe food temperatures. A full freezer will stay at freezing temperatures for about two days and a half-full freezer approximately one day. Click here for more information from the USDA on preventing foodborne illness during power outages.
You can also build a home emergency kit with the following items:
- Xcel Energy phone numbers - 1-800-895-1999 for residential or 1-800-481-4700 for business
- Battery-powered radio or television
- Back up phone chargers
- A phone that does not require electricity
- Non-electric alarm clock
- Bottled water and nonperishable food
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Extension cords (for partial outages)
- Manufacturer's instructions on how to manually open power-operated doors (e.g., garage doors)
YOUR PHOTOS: Severe weather on May 11, 2022
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