MN Power: Worst Storm To Hit Electrical System In 15 Years

(Press Release) Minnesota Power is working to restore power after the worst storm to affect its electrical system in the Duluth area in 15 years.

The eastern half of Duluth, Island Lake and Cloquet were the hardest hit by storms that downed trees and power lines early Thursday morning. Aerial and ground assessments revealed severe damage to Minnesota Power infrastructure. Roughly 100 power poles were damaged and will need to be replaced and many more power lines were down.

About 41,000 customers across the area were without power Thursday afternoon. In Duluth, an estimated one-third of the city’s 65,000 customers were without power. Minnesota Power expects areas outside of Duluth to have power restored within 24 hours. However, some neighborhoods in Duluth may not have power for three to four days and residents should prepare accordingly.

The 40 lineworkers currently working to restore power within the city of Duluth will be joined by 90 more lineworkers who will arrive on Friday, some from as far away as St. Louis, Mo.

Minnesota Power is working closely with officials from St. Louis County and the city of Duluth to coordinate restoration efforts.

Customers are strongly warned to stay away from downed power lines and to expect the lines are energized. Energized lines pose an extreme hazard. Keep pets and children away from those areas. Do not attempt to remove trees on public property or roadways as many trees are entangled with downed power lines.

With excessive heat advisories in effect, the Amsoil Arena at the Duluth Entertainment Convention Center is being used as a temporary cooling center. The arena will be open to the public to cool down free of charge until 10 p.m. today and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.

The Duluth Transit Authority is offering complimentary shuttle services to the DECD from the new Transit Center.
Other tips for staying safe during a heat wave include:

Close shades to keep house cooler
Drink plenty of fluids
Home basements may be cooler
Visit friends who have power
Look after neighbors who may be susceptible to the heat

For more outage updates and information go to http://www.mnpower.com/or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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