ROGERS, Minn. (WCCO) — Good news for commuters in the northwest Twin Cities metro — Thursday’s commute should be much easier.

Roads out of Rogers are open after miles of roadway were blocked by large power lines. The lines run from the Twin Cities metro to the Dakotas.

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It’s pretty dramatic to look at – the tower in Rogers snapped, and so did tower after tower. The original plan was to suspend the wires, but instead Xcel Energy crews cut the lines to get roads in the city open quicker. It was a huge relief to many.

“We’ve got venison steak, cows in the freezer we gotta keep good, I don’t want to lose all that,” Rogers resident Tim Hanson said.

Hanson lives just a few blocks from the damage.  He and his neighbors have been out of power and out of luck, trying to use any surrounding roads.

“We have three or four independent contractors that live in this area and none of us could get our trucks and trailers to get to work and we’re losing money today by not being able to do that, that was really frustrating,” Hanson said.

Eventually he and his neighbor, who’s on dialysis, found a cut through on a farm.

“We just went picked it up from some buddies, plugged it in,” Hanson said.

The lines that fell supply power to the Dakotas, but there were local repercussions too.

“It fell. It’s very heavy and it’s very lengthy, it took a lot of local lines with it,” Rogers Police Chief Jeffrey Beahen said.

You didn’t have to be local to feel the effects. Even if you were just passing through, you couldn’t.

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In the end, crews decided to cut the lines so traffic could keep moving after the winds that knocked down the towers took down some spirits too.

“Could have been a lot worse but you still don’t have power, don’t have a way to get anywhere, it’s a little frustrating,” Hanson said.

A little frustrating, but manageable. Tim’s right — it could have been worse.  So far, there have been no reports of injuries associated with Tuesday’s storms.

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Downed power lines across CR 116 (credit: Hennepin County)

Downed power lines across CR 116 (credit: Hennepin County)

Wright County, northwest of Rogers, was also hit hard, with Monticello and Hanover being the most affected. According to Wright County officials, a downed transmission line has blocked numerous roads in Hanover and the entire town is without power. The south end of St. Michael also has some outages.

In Monticello, a four-plex was struck by lightning and two united were damaged. There were also a couple pole sheds and horse barns that went down.

Xcel Energy says more than 250,000 customers in Minnesota have been impacted since the storm began. As of 2 p.m. Tuesday, there were nearly 53,000 without power in Minnesota.

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“Due to the extensive damage to the power grid, we expect that outages from this storm will take considerable time to repair and many customers will experience an extended, multiple-day outage,” Xcel said in a statement Wednesday morning.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield