MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Xcel Energy crews are making progress on their work to restore power to Minnesota customers who lost service during the severe storms over the weekend.
At its peak, Friday’s storms knocked out power to 610,000 homes and businesses. As of Tuesday afternoon, Xcel Energy said their line crews have restored power to all but 13,000, and service should be fully restored by the end of the day tomorrow.
The problem in many neighborhoods is that there are so many downed trees. Xcel Energy can’t come in and put up new power lines until the trees get out of the way.
WCCO-TV talked with homeowner Brad Rowell in Plymouth, who has been without power since the first storm, early Friday.
That turned out to be a good thing, because he was able to buy a generator before the masses needed them and stores couldn’t keep them in stock.
He’s been able to keep his sump pump and refrigerator running.
“Actually the basement’s been OK. I’ve been sleeping in the basement. It’s been relatively cool down there and just keep the generator full of gas. Wake up every four, five hours and fill it up again,” he said. “I don’t mind. It’s an excuse to stay home from work, I guess, (to) keep the generator going.”
Rowell says he’s taking it in stride and likes the new challenge. His wife and daughter are staying with relatives.
Those who have very large trees down at their homes will likely need to use professional services, but if you can safely move any trees or branches that fell into your yard, there are a number of curbside pickup services. More information on that is listed below:
St. Paul Yard Waste
To have tree debris collected from the curb, residents must notify the Forestry hotline at 651-632-5129.
Debris must be placed on the curb by Friday, June 28.
Tree debris must be separated from non-tree debris.
It may take up to three weeks to collect the debris.
Minneapolis Yard Waste
For information or to report a down tree blocking a sidewalk or street, please email email@example.com or call 612-313-7710.
The Park Board’s Forestry Department has set up a storm response team to respond to calls today until 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 22 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Plymouth Yard Waste
The Plymouth Yard Waste Site will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 22 and Sunday June 23. The site is located next to the Maintenance Facility, 14900 23rd Ave. N. (Plymouth residents only, please. Please bring identification.)
St. Louis Park Yard Waste
The City of St. Louis Park will begin curbside pickup Tuesday, June 25 in the areas that were hit hardest from the storm. This debris must be six feet or under in length (or cut to six feet or under) and packed or stacked as tightly as possible. Place debris at the curb in front of your home, not in the alley.
Expect several days for crews to get throughout the entire city.
Branches less than four inches will be picked up as part of routine yard waste collection. Follow normal rules for this collection.
Xcel energy has said those still without power should expect to get it restored the afternoon of Wednesday, June 26. Calls about power restoration/outages should go directly to Xcel: 1-800-895-1999 or www.xcelenergy.com
The first priority for city workers is to ensure that all streets are passable.
Residents can assist city workers right now by moving any parked vehicles at least 100 feet from any downed trees.
Residents should report any significant blockages or safety hazards to the City of St. Louis Park by calling (952) 924-2562.
Residents are encouraged to transport any of the debris over 4 inches in diameter on their private property to the city’s free brush drop off site. Click here for details.
The drop-off site will be open extended hours from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day through July 7.