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Parts of Hibbing Temporarily Lose Power During Record Cold

Brandon Weathers
Updated: February 14, 2020 06:32 PM

Hibbing set a record low temperature for February 14th at -32 degrees F. In the chilly overnight hours, more than 5,000 homes and businesses temporarily lost power.

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Thursday night, the thermometer in Hibbing plummeted to -23 degrees F by 11 PM. Around that time, power was cut off to part of the city.

The Hibbing Public Utilities Commission believes the outage was caused by the extreme cold when the insulator on a feeder cable failed. HPU said power was back to all customers in less than three hours.

Frustrated customers took to Facebook, calling service unreliable and citing multiple outages in the past several months.

HPU said each outage was caused by different anomalies and that they continue to work on preventative maintenance.

Director of Utility Operations Corey Lubovich said, "We've had a few outages in the past. None of them are things that we like to see, but we take full responsibility for each and every one of them."

Lubovich said they are working closely with City Hall to prevent future outages. He said, "It is our job, our obligation, to lessen these in degree, and we are making strides to do that every day."

Hibbing Mayor Rick Cannata asks for the public's patience. "I know it's a concern to the citizens, it just happened to be one of the coldest nights of the year, and we're working together now to fix these problems."

HPU commissioner James Bayliss said they're also working to improve communication with their customers. "Moving forward, I would urge people to make sure they are reaching out to somebody and getting information. We do have some outlets for that we're working on developing to get better information to those people with a Facebook page and a better website, stuff like that," Bayliss said.

HPU and Mayor Cannata both expressed their appreciation for the crews that worked overnight in the cold to get power back to homes and businesses.

Credits

Brandon Weathers

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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