NEW INFORMATION: 1,300 Xcel customers, 120 Eau Claire Energy Co-op customers remain without power

By: WEAU Email
By: WEAU Email
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Tips from Xcel Energy for Winter Power Outages:
 

•    Never use gas ovens or stoves, outdoor grills or generators indoors as a source of heat. Using them can create deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
•    If you plan to use a generator for backup electricity, read and carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prevent harm to yourself and to crews working nearby to restore service.
•    If the temperature in the home drops significantly, consider precautions to prevent pipes from freezing such as turning off the main water supply and opening the faucets to drain the pipes or turning the water on to a slow drip, ensuring the drain is open.
•    Check on elderly neighbors or relatives who may experience hypothermia.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – Xcel Energy says around 60,000 of their customers in western Wisconsin and Minnesota lost power last night.

Xcel says the heavy snow and ice coated many of the power lines even snapping them.

John Stolp says he was driving down 11th Street last night when he was forced to change routes.

"The power lines had snapped and the trees came down onto a car and the street was blocked," said Stolp.

It was a similar sight in many area neighborhoods last night.

“This was a significant storm and our crews are making big progress,” said Liz Wolf Green with Xcel.

Wolf Green with Xcel energy says they sent around 180 linemen out to repair damaged power lines and poles. She says around 5,000 people are still without power in western Wisconsin around 1,300 of those people in the Eau Claire, Menomonie, and Chippewa Falls area.

“These conditions are making it difficult to get into the areas that they need to restore power. Sometimes they have to plow through snow and the wind isn't helping."

The heavy snow didn't just cause problems for power lines and trees.

Last night part of the roof at Eau Claire’s Kmart collapsed. Luckily no one was hurt but the store released a statement saying it will be closed until further notice.
All across the Chippewa Valley shovel by shovel people and businesses are digging out from the latest storm during a winter that’s many describe as brutal to say the least.

"We've had a lot of snow and we've have a lot of cold weather but the two together; I’ve never seen in 60 years. It’s just been terrible,"

Xcel says if you see a downed power lines say away from them.

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Xcel Energy says nearly 1,300 customers were without power as of about 5:30 p.m. Friday.

They were scattered throughout the Chippewa Valley, and to the north and the west.

The company believes they will be restored by noon Saturday.
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (XCEL ENERGY NEWS RELEASE) – Xcel Energy crews have restored more than 90 percent of customers in Wisconsin and Minnesota who lost power due to a severe winter storm. Approximately 60,000 customers have been affected since the storm moved into the Upper Midwest Thursday afternoon.

At this hour (as of 3:30 p.m.), crews are working to restore service to an estimated 1,700 customers in western-central and northern Wisconsin and 1,900 customers in Minnesota.

Xcel Energy crews have restored power to the vast majority of customers affected by the storm, but may not be able to restore power to all customers today. Some customers may remain without power until Saturday morning. Difficult weather conditions and poor roads continue to hamper efforts in some areas.

Xcel Energy officials want to assure customers that all available resources are dedicated to the restoration effort and they are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service. A workforce of about 800 is in the field dedicated to the restoration effort, including assistance from regional utility contractors and other utilities.

Xcel Energy cautions customers to stay away from downed power lines and report their location at 1-800-895-1999. All downed power lines, even if they’re not moving or sparking, are dangerous and should never be approached.

To report an outage customers are asked to call Xcel Energy’s outage line 1-800-895-1999.
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- About 120 Eau Claire Energy Cooperative customers remain without power as of about 4:45 p.m. Friday. The organization anticipates having all customers restored by 10 p.m. Friday.

At the peak of the outage, 1,500 of the customers were without power.
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Previous story:

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (RELEASE FROM EC ENERGY CO-OP)-- Line workers from Taylor and Clark Electric Cooperatives are now on hand, working with our people at Eau Claire Energy Cooperative to restore power safely and efficiently for our members.

The largest number of outages is in the Drammen and Mondovi areas. Over 1,500 members are without power across our service area. We appreciate your patience during this time.
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (RELEASE FROM XCEL ENERGY)--Xcel Energy crews have restored nearly 49,000 customers in Wisconsin and Minnesota who lost power due to the severe winter storm. Approximately 58,000 customers have been affected since weather conditions began deteriorating Thursday evening.

At this hour, crews are working to restore service to an estimated 5,000 customers in west-central and northern Wisconsin and 4,400 customers in Minnesota.

Freezing rain, sleet and heavy, wet snow, combined with high winds, snapped trees branches and downed power lines as the storm moved through the region. Crews worked through the night but are being hampered by difficult weather conditions and poor roads. In some rural areas, roads are impassable and have been closed.

Xcel Energy officials are assessing damage to the system at this time and are securing restoration assistance from regional utility contractors and other utilities. They want to assure customers that all available resources are dedicated to the restoration effort and they are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service.

Xcel Energy cautions customers to stay away from downed power lines and report their location at 1-800-895-4999. All downed power lines, even if they’re not moving or sparking, are dangerous and should never be approached. In addition, natural gas customers are urged to keep their gas meters free of ice and snow to prevent the potential for a dangerous natural gas pressure buildup in their homes and businesses.

To report an outage customers are asked to call Xcel Energy’s outage line 1-800-895-1999. If natural gas customers smell natural gas in their homes or place of work, they should leave immediately and call 1-800-895-2999.
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Xcel Energy crews continue to restore power to customers in Minnesota and Wisconsin hard hit by the severe winter storm. At this hour, crews are working to restore service to an estimated 13,800 customers in Minnesota and 7,200 customers in Wisconsin, including west-central and northern areas.

Freezing rain, sleet and heavy wet heavy snow, combined with high winds, snapped trees branches and downed power lines as the storm moved through the region. Crews have been working through the night to restore service as quickly and safely as possible, but adverse weather conditions have continued, resulting in new outages.

Xcel Energy officials are assessing damage to the system at this time and are securing restoration assistance from regional utility contractors and other utilities. They want to want to assure customers that all available resources are dedicated to the restoration effort.

Xcel Energy cautions customers to stay away from downed power lines and report their location at 1-800-895-4999. All downed power lines, even if they’re not moving or sparking, are dangerous and should never be approached.

To report an outage customers are asked to call Xcel Energy's outage line 1-800-895-4999.


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