Power Outages Widespread in Western Wisconsin

Xcel energy workers say heavy rain and lightning over night caused widespread power outages in western Wisconsin.

Ladysmith was hit hardest, with a substation equipment failure knocking out power city-wide.

An Xcel energy worker says crews worked all morning to repair damage to the two substations causing the outage. Xcel says as of 12:30 Tuesday afternoon power was restored in Ladysmith. But, for the 3,000 customers and local businesses left in the dark this morning the real work is just beginning.

From the gas station to the grocery store there was one question on everyone's mind Tuesday morning. Who unplugged Ladysmith?

"I pulled in, walked in and the power was out and I had no notification I live in Bruce and the power was still on over there," Assistant Grocery Manager Ronda Johnson said.

But, in Ladysmith signs told the story, the city was in the dark and these local businesses were out of luck.

"We're going to lose a lot of our deli stuff, meat fresh meat, milk, we're just not sure, we'll look at it when the power comes back on," Ladysmith County Market Manager Rock Selvig said.

"As far as our lunch crowd and stuff like that, you're taking away your daily sales and then everything else that needs to be taken away so it's a, it's a good number," Johnson said.

Selvig says in the deli alone the loss could reach the thousands. So, his crew has been hard at work hoping to salvage what they can, while dealing with a difficult day in Ladysmith.

"Very frustrating, not only do you lose sales from the day, but it's frustrating for the employees," Selvig said.

"You never expect the power to stay out as long as it does, you know you're so used to having your electricity you just take it for-granted," Johnson said.

Xcel energy workers say Ladysmith was not the only area that lost power. About 600 customers in the Oakwood mall area of Eau Claire, including the mall itself, lost power for about seven hours.

Xcel says Dunn county also faced widespread outages for much of the day.

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