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June 21 Storm Outage Report for Minnesota

Severe Thunderstorms Sweep through Minnesota

Restoration update and resources

Update as of 8 a.m., Thursday, June 27

Xcel Energy crews, as the company had been assuring customers and the news media, late Wednesday night completed service restoration to more than 600,000 Xcel Energy customers, following one of the largest outages the company has experienced.

We thank you for your patience and support over the last week. 

We are happy to report that those customers impacted by the weekend storms and able to accept service have been restored. Throughout the next several days we will be working to make permanent reconnects as customers make repairs; and complete significant non-outage work to repair our distribution system.

Service cannot be restored to customers with damaged electric service masts. Xcel Energy reminds customers to check the service masts on the side of their homes. Since homeowners own the masts, if the mast is damaged a licensed electrician must be hired to make repairs before service can be restored.

Update as of 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 26

As Xcel Energy crews wrap-up restoration efforts in the Twin Cities area, customers still without service are being asked to call 1-800-895-1999 to assist crews in identifying individual outages.

Since Friday, Xcel Energy crews have restored service to 607,100 customers who lost power due to the severe storms. In all, more than 610,000 Xcel Energy customers were affected. As of 1 p.m. today, all resources remain dedicated to restoring power to the remaining 2,900 customers. Xcel Energy expects that service will be restored to those customers who can accept power by tonight.

Service cannot be restored to customers with damaged electric service masts. Xcel Energy reminds customers to check the service masts on the side of their homes. Since homeowners own the masts, if the mast is damaged a licensed electrician must be hired to make repairs before service can be restored.

Updates on Xcel Energy’s power restoration progress are being posted on Facebook and Twitter and at www.xcelenergy.com.

Update as of noon, Wednesday, June 26

We are making the final push to get all customers affected by the weekend storms back in service by this evening.  
As of mid-day, we were down to less than 3,000 customers out of service from 610,000 at the peak of the storm damage -- the most severe storm event we have experienced in several years.  
If you are one of the customers still without power, we apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. We have all available resources, including more than 1,100 workers from 15 states and 22 other companies, focused on getting every last customer back in service.  

Update as of 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 26

We're almost there!  
As of early this morning, following one of the most severe weekend storm outage events we have experienced in several years, we are down to 5,000 customers still out of service.  Since the first storm early Friday morning, about 610,000 customers were affected. We have restored service to 99 percent, or 605,000.  
If you are one of the customers still without power, we apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. We have all available resources, including more than 1,100 workers from 15 states and 22 other companies, making repairs around the clock to restore service. And we won’t stop until every last customer is back in service.  

We expect to restore power to the vast majority of those customers by this evening.

Update as of 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 25

We're almost there!  

As of 9:30 p.m., we're down to only 7,000 customers still out of service.  Since the first storm early Friday morning, about 610,000 customers were affected. We have restored service to 603,000.  

If you are one of the customers still without power, we apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. This marks the most severe storm outage event we have experienced in several years. And we have all available resources, including more than 1,100 workers from 15 states and 22 other companies, making repairs around the clock to restore service.  

We expect to restore power to the vast majority of those customers by the end of day Wednesday, June 26.

Update as of 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 25

Crews that have finished work in the St. Cloud and eastern Twin Cities areas have been redeployed to join hundreds of linemen and other workers in the west metro area, which sustained the most extensive damage in weekend storms.

All available resources – including 1,000 field workers from Xcel Energy’s service territories and from other utilities across the country – are focused on getting power back on for 13,000 customers mainly in Minneapolis and its suburbs.

Crews have restored service to 592,600 customers -- 97 percent of the 610,000 customers affected by the storms -- and we won’t let up until all power is back on,” said Kent Larson, senior vice president of operations for Xcel Energy. “These remaining outages are in communities where tree, pole and line damage is  extensive. Restoration work in these areas is very labor-intensive: a multi-person crew can work half a day or more to put up a new pole and wires that serve only a handful of customers.”

Larson noted that Xcel Energy is committed to completing power restoration from the weekend storms as quickly and safely as possible; the current estimate is that service will be restored to the vast majority of customers who are still out by late Wednesday night.

Xcel Energy cautions customers to stay away from downed power lines and report their location at 1-800-895-1999. All downed power lines, even if they’re not moving or sparking, are dangerous and should never be approached.

Update as of 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, June 25th

We won't stop until the last customer is back in service

As of 11 a.m. CT today, Xcel Energy has restored power to 97 percent of the customers who experienced an outage during a wave of thunderstorms that rolled through the region over the weekend. Approximately 19,000 customers remain without power.

We expect to restore power to the vast majority of those customers by the end of day Wednesday, June 26.

If you are one of the customers still without power, we apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience. This marks the most severe storm outage event we have experienced in several years. And we have all available resources, including more than 1,100 workers from 15 states and 22 other companies making repairs around the clock to restore service.

Reminders
• If the storm damaged your overhead mast, a pipe-like housing that connects overhead service wires to a home's meter, you must contact an electrician for repairs before we can reconnect service.
• Stay away from downed power lines and report their location at 1-800-895-1999. All downed power lines, even if they're not moving or sparking, are dangerous and should never be approached.
• Our restoration process prioritizes work as follows: 1) Situations that threaten public safety, such as live, downed wires; 2) Restore power to critical services such as hospitals, nursing homes and fire departments; 3) Repairs are then prioritized based on what will restore power to the largest number of customers most quickly.
• Even if you do not see crews from Xcel Energy or one of our partner utilities in your neighborhood, we are still at work restoring your service as the problem may not be close to your home. In addition, with the amount of trees and limbs down, we have tree clearing crews out in advance of the line crews to remove any branches from the lines.

• If you have not yet called to report your outage, or if you have called and the power in your neighborhood comes back on and your power is still out, please call 1-800-895-1999.

Additional Tips
• Leave one light switch turned on so you'll know when electricity service has been restored.
• Turn off other appliances such as the television, refrigerator and range. If they are left on during the outage, there's a chance of electrical overload when power is restored.
• Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly.

Update as of 8:30 p.m., Monday, June 24

Xcel Energy reports tonight that crews have completed restoring customers in the St. Cloud area who lost service due to Friday’s severe storms. An estimated 30,000 St. Cloud area customers were affected.

Xcel Energy crews, contractors and mutual aid responders continue restoring electricity service in the Twin Cities metro area in the wake of storms that knocked out power to 588,000 Minnesota customers.

As of 8:30 p.m. today, crews had restored power to more than 560,000 customers in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and other parts of Minnesota. Work continues to restore the remaining 28,000 customers, located primarily in the west metro area. Xcel Energy expects to restore power to the vast majority of customers by noon Wednesday.

Update as of 5:00 p.m., Monday, June 24

Xcel Energy crews, contractors and mutual aid responders continue restoring electricity service in the wake of severe storms Friday that knocked out power to nearly 610,000 Minnesota customers.

As of 5:00 p.m. today, crews had restored power to more than 570,000 customers in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and other parts of Minnesota. Work continues to restore the remaining 39,000 customers, located primarily in the west Twin Cities metro area. Xcel Energy expects to restore power to the vast majority of customers by noon Wednesday.

Update as of 11:30 a.m., Monday, June 24

As we close in on the restoration of service, our line workers are dealing more with smaller outages, as well as outages that are more complicated due to extensive tree damage, so progress appears slower.  We continue to fully dedicate all resources to restore power to the remaining 40,000 customers without power.

Tonight, we expect to have all customers in the St. Cloud area restored, and we will be redeploying those crews to the Twin Cities Metro area.  

Again, thank you for your patience.

Update as of 6:00 a.m., Monday, June 24

Since the first thunderstorm early Friday, June 21 , 616,500 customers have experienced a power outage. As of 6 a.m. today we have restored power to 571,000 of these customers.
We are fully dedicating all resources to restore power to the remaining 45,500 customers.

Currently we have more than 400 crews and approximately 1000 linemen dedicated to this restoration effort, which is a combination of internal NSPM and NSPW crews, PSCO crews, contractors, and mutual aid utilities. We currently have 80 tree crews supporting this effort.

Crews  are  working 16 hour days.  The contractor crews include resources from Michels Power, Donovan, MJ Electric, PAR Electric, Intren, JL Electric, RS Electric, MP Tech, JF Electric, Titan Electric, CC Power, Thompson Electric, Kent Power, Asplundh/ACC, Black and MacDonald, Hydaker Wheat Lake, and Hooper.  Mutual aid assistance is being provided by Ameren, Mid American, Black Hill P&L, OPPD, Minnesota Power, AEP Indiana, AEP Tulsa OK, and Kansas City Power & Light.  In addition; there are invaluable resources from NSPMN, WI, PSCO, and SPS providing support including, stores, fleet, control center, dispatching, and other functions.

Update as of 6 p.m., Sunday, June 23

Xcel Energy has made tremendous progress by restoring service to more than 460,000 Minnesota customers since the storms began on Friday, June 21. Outage totals have climbed to 590,500 over the multi-day, two-state event. At this time, there are just over 72,500 customers that remain without service.

All available resources are dedicated to restoring the remaining affected customers. This includes more than 400 field crews and 80 Vegetation Management crews assisting with restoration efforts.

Restoration efforts will span several days, as we work to repair the damage to our equipment. We expect to restore power to the vast majority of customers by Wednesday afternoon, June 26, with some service level outages lingering into Wednesday evening.

However, the Twin Cities Metro area weather forecast is for additional thunderstorm activity, including heavy downpours and gusty winds, over the next few days. More severe weather could potentially delay restoration efforts.

If you are still without power, and your neighborhood is back on, please call us again at 1-800-895-1999.

If you are concerned about your food,check out the food safety tips at the USDA website listed below in Emergency Resources.

Customers who want to use a generator as a back-up power source, need to make sure it is installed and operated properly – for their safety and the safety of our crews.

Although service restoration is our goal, the safety of our customers and crews is top priority.  Please stay away from downed power lines.  

Again, thank you for your patience as we work to restore your service after one of the largest outages in our history.

Update as of 3 p.m., Sunday, June 23

Today we anticipate the heaviest push of field workers to date, as we work to restore the outages that remain. Currently, more than 1,100 workers from 15 different states are dedicated to this restoration effort.

Please know we understand the frustration regarding estimated restoration times. We are doing our best to provide as much detail as possible. However, with such widespread devastation across much of our service territory, it is difficult to provide highly specific information.

We are continuing our effort to focus on the remaining 99,000 customers without power. Repairs are prioritized based on what will restore power to the largest number of customers most quickly as well as critical facilities such as hospitals. Remaining outages can be among the most complex, requiring a high level of on-site resources and a high level of safety.

We want to thank you for your patience during this incredibly challenging time. As you may know, these waves of storms have resulted in one of the largest outage events ever in Xcel Energy’s Minnesota service territory, and we are doing everything we can to make this storm exactly that: history.

If we have further updates, we will continue to provide them to you on this page. Thank you again for your unbelievable patience and support.

Update as of 10 a.m., Sunday, June 23

As of 10 a.m. today,  we have had a total of 554,000 customers affected, 455,000 restored with a remaining 99,000 customers out.  

Although we are definitely gaining on the restoration effort, we received 1,600 new jobs from noon yesterday, due to the most recent thunderstorms rolling through.

We have more than 400 line crews deployed, representing about 1,000 workers.  Crews include 111 Xcel Energy crews from throughout our service area,129 mutual aid crews and 164 contract crews. In addition we have 80 vegetation management (line clearing) crews on the job.

This is an all-out effort, drawing resources from Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

We currently project the estimated restoration time for the vast majority of customers at Wednesday afternoon with lingering outages into the evening.

Update as of 7 a.m., Sunday, June 23

Tremendous progress has been made, as we have restored service to more than 452,500 Minnesota customers since the storms began on Friday, June 21. The severe weather event has produced a staggering 574,500 power outages. All available resources are dedicated to restoring the 122,000 customers that remain without service.

Damage reports and outage figures have pushed restoration times out, as repairing the damage to our equipment will take several days. We expect to restore power to the vast majority of customers by Wednesday, June 26.

The Metro area is currently experiencing more thunderstorm activity, including heavy downpours and gusty winds, which could continue through the early morning hours. We run a slight risk of additional activity throughout the day, with temperatures forecasted to reach 85 degrees. The shower and thunderstorm threat dissipates tonight, with a mostly-sunny day expected on Monday and a high forecasted near 88 degrees.

Today we anticipate the heaviest push of resources to date, as we work to restore the outages that remain. Currently, there are more than 400 field crews and approximately 1,000 linemen dedicated to the restoration effort. This includes a combination of internal crews, contractors and mutual aid utilities. In addition, there are 64 crews working to clear downed trees, branches and debris from the lines.

Electric service masts 
If there are damages to the electric service mast on your home, a licensed electrician must make repairs before service can be restored. 

Update as of 7 p.m., Saturday, June 22

We continue to make considerable progress in the restoration effort.  Since the onset of this event 514,100 customers have experienced a power outage.  As of 7 p.m. today we have restored power to 402,500 of these customers.  

We are fully dedicating all resources to restore power to the remaining 111,600 customers.

We will have approximately 400 line crews approaching a total of 1,000 workers to aid in this large restoration effort. We expect all of these crews to be working tomorrow.  In addition to the field crews, hundreds more employees are covering phones in the Call Center, dispatching the crews, managing the delivery of materials and updating communications. 

We sent a construction manager and a Control Center leader in a helicopter to patrol the distribution system.  This gave the office support vital assessment information to ready job sites before a crew arrives.  We replaced approximately 50 poles; with an additional 50 identified to be replaced; along with the poles numerous cross arms and wire has been installed in the field.

The estimated restoration time is still Wednesday. However, more heavy weather tonight and Sunday could impact restoration time.

The next update will be late tomorrow morning.  

Update as of 4 p.m., Saturday, June 22

Xcel Energy crews and contractors took advantage of a break in the weather today to continue restoring power in the wake of severe storms Friday that knocked out service to nearly 505,000 Minnesota customers.

As of 4 p.m. today, crews had restored power to more than 356,000 customers in the Twin Cities, St. Cloud and other parts of Minnesota. Repairing the extensive damage to the system will take several days. Xcel Energy currently expects to restore power to the vast majority of customers by Wednesday.

More than 1,000 line workers will be in the field this weekend – including Xcel Energy crews from throughout the Upper Midwest and Colorado, and crews from other utilities that we’ve called upon for assistance – and will be working 16-hours shifts until all power is restored. 

We want to thank our customers for their patience and to assure them that we are working as quickly and safely as possible to get their power back on.

Xcel Energy reminds customers to check the electric service masts on the side of their homes. Since homeowners own the masts, if the mast is damaged a licensed electrician must be hired to make repairs before service can be restored. If customers wait to complete repairs they will have further restoration delays.

Xcel Energy cautions customers to stay away from downed power lines and report their location at 1-800-895-1999. All downed power lines, even if they’re not moving or sparking, are dangerous and should never be approached.

To report an outage, or to receive outage information or restoration estimates, customers are asked to call Xcel Energy's outage line 1-800-895-1999.

Updates on Xcel Energy’s power restoration progress also are being posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Update as of 10 a.m., Saturday, June 22

The severe weather event has produced an astonishing 488,500 power outages.

As of 10 a.m., approximately 213,500 customers remain without service.  

Operations has coordinated 413 crews, including Xcel Energy employees, contractors and resources from other utilities. More than 975 linemen will be working 16-hour shifts to help restore service to customers.

Preliminary damage reports and outage figures have pushed restoration times out several days for some customers.
Xcel Energy is once again in assessment mode and is working hard to provide customers with an accurate restoration time. All available resources are dedicated to restoring power as quickly and safely as possible.

The first wave of storms came through early Friday morning, with winds exceeding 60 miles per hour. Another round of extreme weather hit the Metro area around 7 p.m. Friday evening, bringing torrential rains, high winds, hail and lightning. Just after midnight this morning, a third round of storms came through the area, dumping more rain on already saturated ground. There is more severe weather forecasted in the territory over the next couple of days. Additional inclement weather could postpone restoration times further.   

Please stay away from any downed lines or poles.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Update as of 7:30 a.m., Saturday, June 22

Last night's storm produced heavy rain, strong winds, lightning and hail, resulting in significant damage to our distribution infrastructure in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. The number of customers impacted by the new weather event is now estimated at 276,000.

Xcel Energy crews and contractors have restored service to more than 214,000 customers from the onset of this event which has seen 475,000 customers affected. 

We continue to assess the situation and determine a course of action for the large-scale restoration. Given the extent of the damage, restoration times will be prolonged, as this develops into a significant multi-day event. 

Our crews will continue to work as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to the impacted customers.

Update as of 10:30 p.m., Friday, June 21

Starting at about 7:00 p.m. a severe storm system producing heavy rain, punishing winds, lightening and hail came through the Twin Cities metro area.  This resulted in significant damage to our distribution infrastructure throughout the Metro West, and Metro East Service Territory.  The total number of customers impacted thus far in this new event is estimated at 250,000.  We expect the total number of customers impacted and job count to rise well into the morning hours and are making aggressive changes to the number of crews; and support functions of Distribution Operations.  

The operational team met tonight to re-prioritize crew deployment.  An early morning operations call is scheduled to further coordinate this large restoration effort ahead.

With the extent of the damage this will be a significant multi-day event.  

We are currently in an assessment mode and have not yet determined the new estimated. restoration time.  

We will post the next update tomorrow morning.

Update as of 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 21

The early Friday morning storm, with winds exceeding 60 miles per hour, snapped trees, broke power poles and downed power lines.

At this hour, crews continue work to restore service as quickly and safely as possible to an estimated 25,000 customers in the Twin Cities metro area and an additional 19,600 customers without service in the St. Cloud area. Currently, Xcel Energy estimates that power will be restored to the vast majority of Twin Cities-area customers by midnight Sunday and the vast majority of customers in the St. Cloud area by Monday afternoon. More severe weather tonight and during the weekend could also affect restoration times.

Xcel Energy crews and contractors from Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, and workers from Mid American Energy (Iowa), Kansas City Power and Light and Ameren (Missouri) are assisting with the restoration effort. Crews continue to arrive in the affected communities and a workforce of 450 is expected to be in the field tomorrow.

Xcel Energy officials want to assure customers that all available resources are dedicated to restoring power as quickly as possible and to thank them for their patience during this challenging restoration process.

Update as of 10 a.m., Friday, June 21

Xcel Energy has restored service to more than 32,700 customers impacted by severe thunderstorms that passed through Minnesota and Wisconsin last night and early this morning. There are many reports of downed power lines and broken poles throughout our service areas. Xcel Energy and contract crews are working throughout the two states restoring service.

Below are some key facts about the restoration efforts:

  • In Minnesota, service has been restored to 22,500 customers and 133,500 customers remain without power. The Twin Cities Metro area was significantly impacted by this storm; however, there are outages throughout our service area. Due to the extensive damage, some customers will be without power for an extended time.
  • In Wisconsin, service has been restored to 10,200 customers and 9,800 customers remain without power. Most customers in Wisconsin should be back in service by 6 p.m. Friday, June 21. However, due to the extensive damage in the Hudson area some customers there will be without power for an extended time.
  • Additional crews are traveling from South Dakota and North Dakota and other areas in the region to assist with the restoration work.

We will provide more information throughout this event as it becomes available.

Report as of 8 a.m., Friday, June 21

Nearly 130,000 customers in Minnesota and 15,000 customers in Wisconsin have been impacted by severe thunderstorms that passed through the area last night and early this morning. Field Operations is currently assessing the damage and no restoration time is currently available.

Below are some key facts about the situation.

  • The Twin Cities Metro area was significantly impacted by this storm; however, there are outages throughout our service area.
  • In Wisconsin the hardest hit area was Hudson, with many customers in the community currently out of power.  
  • Due to the extensive damage, some customers will be without power for an extended time.
  • Crews are travelling from North and South Dakota and other areas in the region to assist with the restoration work.
  • We have reports of lines on the ground in multiple areas.

Please urge customers to stay away from downed lines.

We will provide more information throughout this event as it becomes available.

Restoration Process

The Xcel Energy restoration process gives top priority to situations that threaten public safety, such as live, downed wires. Repairs are then prioritized based on what will restore power to the largest number of customers most quickly. Crews work around the clock until power is restored to all customers. The number of customers affected by an outage will depend on where the cause of the outage occurred.

We prioritize our work to restore power to critical services such as nursing homes and fire departments. 

Please stay away from all downed power lines. Contact us at 1-800-895-1999 to report downed lines or natural gas leaks. Call 911 to report any emergency.

Tips for Extended Outages

  • Don’t call 911 to report a power outage, as this unnecessarily ties up critical emergency phone lines. Customers experiencing an outage should contact Xcel Energy at: 1-800-895-1999.
  • If you own or plan to buy an emergency standby generator, for safety reasons Xcel Energy suggests that you plug appliances into the generator; or have an electrician wire the generator into your home’s electrical system. Improper use of a standby generator can severely injure or kill you, your neighbors and the people who are working to restore your power.

Cooking
• If you have a natural gas stove or oven without an electric ignition, you will be able to use it for cooking during an outage.
• Avoid opening a refrigerator or freezer during an outage. The less you open the doors, the longer your food will stay cold or frozen.
• If you need to cook during an outage, use a properly vented fireplace, a camp stove or a can of Sterno. Be sure, however, that there is adequate ventilation. Never use charcoal indoors.

Additional Tips
• Leave one light switch turned on so you’ll know when electricity service has been restored.
• Turn off other appliances such as the television, refrigerator and range. If they are left on during the outage, there’s a chance of electrical overload when power is restored.
• Check on your neighbors, especially the elderly.

Emergency Resources

Electric service mast damage

If your electric service mast has pulled away from the side of the house, as in the photo above, or your roof-mounted mast is down, you need to call an electrician to make repairs before Xcel Energy can restore service.  

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