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Storms Disrupt Metro With Power Outages, Debris

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(credit: CBS) Kate Raddatz
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was a stressful morning for patients and staff at NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center in North Minneapolis.

NorthPoint CEO Stella Whitney-West says a call to the utility company proved futile.

“We immediately tried to call in to Xcel,” Whitney-West said. “Of course, we couldn’t get through.”

But the phone calls didn’t stop there.

“Patients that were scheduled up until noon – we called to cancel their appointments. Any patients that actually came in or walked in we had providers kind of triage,” she said.

Power outages from the storm that ripped through the area forced staff to turn away more than 150 patients. It was a reminder of similar operations that followed after the tornado struck the area two years ago.

“We immediately thought that there may be residents who are having some flashbacks, some anxiety,” she said.

In Golden Valley, residents like Jackie Cole had trouble getting out of their neighborhoods with fallen trees blocking roads.

“It’s unfortunate that it fell on the power line. So we’ve been without power since about 3:30 this morning,” Cole said.

With damage like this, Golden Valley resident Lynn Bick is wondering how much longer she’ll be without power.

“Hopefully the crews will be able to get in and get stuff restored,” Bick said.

In south Minneapolis, Lauren Taylor from the Turtle Bread Company says power outages throughout the area meant employees couldn’t take credit cards.

“We had to turn a lot of people away because they didn’t have cash,” Taylor said. “We had to throw away a lot of the food that we used to make breakfast because it spoiled – eggs and a lot of the meat.”

Turtle Bread estimated they lost hundreds of dollars due to outages.

Becky Anderson had to get around several fallen trees on her quest to get a cup of coffee in the same area.

“I’m surprised that this is this bad,” Anderson said.

She says her neighborhood was without power for almost nine hours.

“This is scary when you don’t even know that it happened, and I only live like a half a block away,” she said.

At the peak in the Twin Cities, there were 100,000 Xcel customers without power. There were 130,000 customers affected statewide.

Cole, Bick and Anderson said they had their power back on around noon Friday. Turtle Bread is back up and running, as is NorthPoint – who were able to reschedule patients.

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