MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Friday’s storms knocked out power to more than half a million Minnesotans and days later, thousands of customers are still in the dark.

The city of Minneapolis wants to make sure those without power are staying safe — in the heat and with the food they have left.

Here are a few tips from the city and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Beat The Heat

• Spend time in air-conditioned buildings and avoid direct sunlight if possible. You can find a list of air conditioned public buildings here.
• Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
• Take cool showers or baths.
• Avoid using the stove or oven to cook.
• Drink more water than usual and remind others to do the same.
• Check on friends, family and neighbors twice a day.

Food Safety

• For your freezer: A freezer that is half full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
• For your refrigerator: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy, and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
• Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Traffic Signals

About 35 traffic signals are still without power in the city, including some that are in a flashing red light mode. A reminder to motorists — flashing red lights should be treated as stop signs. An intersection without any lights should be treated as a four-way stop.

Tree Removal

Trees still down will be removed once Xcel Energy crews are able to remove power lines that are tangled. After city streets are clear, the Park Board’s second priority for tree removal will be trees from homes, garages and other structures. The third tree priority is to evaluate and remove trees that pose a potential hazard for toppling due to storm damage. Fourth priority is the removal of trees and tree debris from parks.

Resident Tree Debris Drop-Off

Minneapolis residents may bring yard tree debris to two locations, one in North Minneapolis and one in Fort Snelling, between June 24 and 29 for hauling and processing by the Park Board.

• Metro Wood Recycling Site: 33rd Avenue North and 2nd Street North, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday
• Fort Snelling Site: 6200 Bloomington Rd., Fort Snelling (adjacent to the Park Board’s Fort Snelling Golf Course) 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday

These sites will discontinue accepting public tree debris at Noon on Saturday, June 29. This is only for storm related tree debris.

Curbside Tree Debris

Crews will collect tree debris beginning July 1 through July 12 for properties affected by the storm. The service is for property owners clearing tree debris after storm damage only.

Here’s how residents in the area can prepare downed trees and branches for collection:
• Move larger limbs, branches, and trunks to the boulevard area in front of your house. Park Board crews will pick up and dispose of these items at no charge.
• Property owners adjacent to tree debris placed on the boulevard are asked not to park vehicles near the debris, to help crews in the removal process. “No parking” signs may be posted and enforced to facilitate the cleanup operation.


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