Power Outages Hit Thousands in Duluth

Posted at: 04/11/2013 10:06 AM
Updated at: 04/11/2013 10:39 PM
By: Travis Dill

More than 2,000 customers in Duluth were without power this morning as high winds rolled in off Lake Superior.

Thursday's storm brought high winds early, and gusts up to 65 mph took down power lines in the Northland. Kelley Eldien with Minnesota Power said that is unavoidable when the wind gets that strong.

“With the wind gusts over 50 mph definitely knocking down a lot of trees around our service territory,” Eldien said.

She said that left thousands in the dark early Thursday morning.

“We did have one outage this morning at 5:30 in the Kenwood and East Hillside area of Duluth. It took out about about 2,000 customers,” Eldien said.

One of those customers is the College of St. Scholastica. The college cancelled 8 a.m. classes, but the lights were back on quickly and classes resumed at 10 a.m. The snow did close down campus again later in the afternoon.

The heavy snow was not a problem for Minnesota Power.

“The snow isn't what worries us so much, it's ice, and it sounds so far like a lot of that ice is staying south of us,” Eldien said.

The storm also caused a power outage in downtown Duluth. The Minnesota Power website says that about 2,000 customers were affected beginning around 7:30 p.m. Most power had been restored as of Thursday night, although a few customers are still without electricity.

If customers loose power Eldien said they can report it with Minnesota Power's smartphone app, or by calling 1-800-30-POWER.

Part of this storm caused power issues in Sioux Falls on Wednesday. Minnesota Power sent 22 line workers to help with outages there, but officials said there are still plenty of crews ready to handle problems that arise in the Northland.