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Minnesota Power is responding to outages as high winds hit region

All available crews are working on power restoration during deep freeze

Minnesota Power crews are prepared and are responding as safely and as quickly as possible to restore power outages caused by high winds downing trees and limbs, the company said in a news release Friday afternoon

After last week’s heavy, wet snow of two feet or more coated trees in the region, Friday’s high winds are taking down many trees and limbs, causing scattered outages. The largest outages today were in the Duluth, Lakewood Township and Carlton areas and affected up to 1,200 customers at times.

By 3:30 p.m., crews were working to restore service to the fewer than 600 customers remaining without power.

Gusts of up to 45 mph were recorded at the Duluth airport today, and the Grand Marais harbor recorded 64 mph gusts a number of times.

Minnesota Power has been preparing for this week’s winter storm, ensuring appropriate staffing levels and proactively trimming and clearing trees that threaten power lines. All available crews are in the field working to restore power. The frigid temperatures, strong winds and travel conditions may hamper response times.

“Our crews have been responding quickly to today’s outages. We appreciate their hard work and commitment in tough conditions which has kept us up with repairs to our system while also keeping our customers and their families warm as we head into the holidays,” said Josh Goutermont, director of Grid Operations. “We prepared for this storm thanks to the early forecast, and the tree clearing we’ve accomplished over the past week has really paid off. While we still have about 24

hours of high winds in the forecast, we’re in a good spot right now. We will continue to monitor the weather and will respond 24/7 to any additional outages.”

People are asked to steer clear of any downed power lines. Do not attempt to touch or lift any wire. Do not get out of your vehicle onor near wires. All power lines, including downed power lines on the ground, should be considered energized and capable of causing injury or death.

Finally, please give crews the space they need to work safely along roads and streets, and slow down when driving near them.

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