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Thousands Of Cars Towed, Power Slowly Restored

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First Snow: November 2010, winter, weather, storm

A large tree went down in yard near Bryant Lake in Eden Prairie. (credit: Timothy McNeill)

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota got a winter wakeup call this weekend with many areas in the Twin Cities reporting up to a foot of snow.

One of the biggest problems from the storm: power outages. The heavy, wet snowfall knocked down lots of trees and power lines.

Xcel Energy said by the end of the day Monday, they will have restored power to well over 200,000 customers.

Nick Dragisch and his family live in West Lakeland Township where they need electricity to operate their well for water. This could be their second night in the dark.

“We have the fireplace going for some heat, so we’re not freezing, but all of our food in our freezer and refrigerator are spoiling and melting,” said Dragisch. “And we don’t have any water to function. And so what we end up doing, is once we’ve drawn water down, you have to bring in a bucket of snow and let it melt and dump it in the back of the toilet.”

As of 10 p.m. Sunday, Xcel Energy reported just over 12,000 still without power.

“Our guys would get one outage complete and getting to the next outage, if anyone was driving yesterday, you go through the side streets, the roads, sometimes were unpassable,” said Tom Hoen, Xcel Energy spokesperson. “So it’s not so much getting to the job, where it was it took so long to get there. And then you add in the fact that you have such a high number of jobs that we still have to deal with, that’s why we have such an extended outage.”

Meanwhile, snow emergencies in both Minneapolis and St. Paul means cars towed from local roads all night.

The Minneapolis Impound Lot said they had longs lines of tow trucks carrying in vehicles. On Sunday, 648 vehicles were towed in Minneapolis and on Saturday, 399 vehicles were towed, according to Matt Laible with the City of Minneapolis’ communications department.

It costs $138 for people to get their car out, plus a ticket. And that has many towed car owners upset.

“We come to this city to visit our son. Last night our vehicle was still there at 11 p.m. because we walked home from one of the restaurants. We get up at this morning at 5 (a.m.) to leave to go home to good ol’ North Dakota and no vehicle,” said Carrie Peterson, who had a car towed.

Click here to see if the city you live in has declared a snow emergency.

Sunday is the second day of the Minneapolis snow emergency which means there is no parking on the even side of the street and neither side of parkways.

Snow emergency rules remain in effect until 8 p.m. Sunday, unless that side of the street is already plowed. If they do, the city might tow their vehicle.

The National Weather Service reports nearly 8 inches of snow fell at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by 6 a.m. Sunday.

There’s a chance of flurries in the Twin Cities later Sunday, but forecasters don’t expect more than an inch.

Click here to see a photo gallery of this winter storm.

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