A line of severe thunderstorms with heavy winds raced across northeastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin early Thursday, July 21, downing trees and power lines and leaving at least 157,966 customers without power, according to an update from the Department of Energy (DOE).
As of 4:30 p.m. EDT, approximately 99,767 customers remained without power. Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL) which reported at least 60,000 outages in Minnesota and Wisconsin, said crews were working to restore service by 6:00 p.m. CDT, according to the DOE Energy Assurance Daily for July 21.
Minnesota Power, an Allete (NYSE:ALE) company, initially reported that approximately 39,200 customers lost power due to major damage to its transmission system, and that extended outages were possible. As of 4:30 p.m. CDT, Minnesota Power’s latest reported outages had jumped up to 44,060 customers. The utility was setting up cooling stations, including water, food, and showers for affected customers while damage assessments to its infrastructure were underway.
The utility did not indicate when complete restoration was expected.