April showers bring power outages across the region

[anvplayer video=”5173538″ station=”998130″]

A messy Spring storm moving through the Northland today, Thursday April 20th, has knocked out power for thousands of people. We talked with Minnesota Power to get a deeper look at what exactly is going on.

“It is interesting that for the year of 2022, we saw six major outages associated with storms. And typically we only see 1 to 2 storms a year that cause some of these larger outages. So here we are in April. We’re coming off a record setting winter snowfall. We’ve had a lot of melt quickly,” says Amy Rutledge Director of Corporate Communications at Minnesota Power.

“So we have saturated ground. Certainly those trees are loose, they’re weak. We have these high winds and it’s certainly just adding up to be really not a great recipe when it comes to seeing trees that are threatening our power lines and causing outages, “continues Rutledge.

At about 7 p.m. Thursday, Minnesota Power reported more than 1,800 customers were without power. They said high winds are causing scattered outages.

Now, what is the best way to stay safe?

“My number one recommendation is if you see a downed power lines or you see a tree on a line that’s in your yard, stay away from it. You should assume that the power line is energized. And so please report that to us so that we can calm and safely, remove the tree safely, get that line restrung. So that’s paramount. Electricity is inherently dangerous. So please treat any downed power line as if it is lives,” finishes Rutledge.

Check Minnesota Power’s outage map here.

Check Lake Country Power’s outage map here.

Check Superior Water, Light & Power’s outage map here.

Get updates from the WDIO Storm Track team here.

As of 9:30 PM Thursday, April 20th, Minnesota Power released this statement:

“Sleet and ice filled trees are the main issue in Duluth, Cloquet and Proctor areas where trees and branches have come down on powerlines. We are still working to restore some of the larger outages including one affecting 1100 customers in Silver Bay. As you can imagine, a slight fluctuation in temperature or wind speed adding to an already challenging situation.  Safety is a top priority for our crews as they work in challenging weather conditions and for our customers.  

While we are making headway, customers without power this evening should be prepared for an extended outage. Currently about 1800 customers are affected which includes the larger Silver Bay outage. We will have crews on tonight to respond to emergency calls of lines down with the full contingent of our crews back on early tomorrow morning following a mandatory rest after putting in a 16 and 1/2 hour work day. We appreciate our customers patience as we all work through Mother Nature’s latest curveball.”- Minnesota Power.