Thousands of Xcel customers in Minneapolis lose power on subzero night

  • Article
  • Updated: December 30, 2013 - 10:54 AM

About 50 Xcel Energy customers in Minneapolis were without power at 10:50 a.m. Monday when temperatures hovered at 7 degrees below zero, according to utility's website.

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swmnguyDec. 30, 13 8:30 AM

The grid in that part of town is in miserable shape. When I lived closer to Hiawatha we would lose power at least 6 times a year if not more, and a lineman eventually told me the grid was worn out and Xcel was replacing it a piece at a time as the pieces wore out.

I don't understand why the PUC will allow Xcel to continually raise fees, and rates, and pay dividends and lavish executive salaries, and not provide reliable electricity to a large area of Minneapolis. I am fortunate to have moved a few blocks from where I used to live; we've only had one outage in 4 years, and that was June 20th when the storm came through and was in no way Xcel's fault. But a few blocks to the east, power is prone to outages, Xcel has known about it for at least 15 years, and hasn't fixed the problem.

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overlandDec. 30, 13 8:36 AM

And what happened? Why??? (who, where, what, why, when?)

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woodpecDec. 30, 13 9:02 AM

swmnguy is right. I live in the north part of Longfellow and was lucky not to loose power this time. However, between 2002 and about 2008 we had exactly what swmnguy describes---about half a dozen power outages per year, some of them lasting quite long---really did not feel like living in a 1st world country. {Not counting the 4 days without power after a winter storm in December.} Things have finally improved a bit over the last few years---I guess there is hope. Thanks to all those linemen working out there; they are not to blame for the miserable shape the grid is in in this area.

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irelandguyDec. 30, 13 9:03 AM

Instead of just rolling over and granting Xcel one large rate increase after another, perhaps the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission could at least pretend to be a regulator and investigate Xcel's service quality.

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snickelodeonDec. 30, 13 9:58 AM

"And what happened? Why??? (who, where, what, why, when?)" Exactly. And if Xcel doesn't know what happened and why, that's potentially the most newsworthy -- and disturbing -- fact of all. It's amazing that the why is never mentioned in this story.

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RandonDec. 30, 1310:41 AM

Thanks to the workers we got our power back on @3:20 AM. It was 47 degrees in the house. Xcel time to fix the grid!

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fatredneckDec. 30, 1310:43 AM

It seems that the only research that the Star Trib has done on this story has been checking the outage map on Xcel's website. At the very least there has to be someone in PR at Xcel that can brief the reporter on what caused the outage. I could understand not having an answer at midnight last night, but it is in the middle of the morning on a Monday and still no info. What is going on at the Star Trib lately? More and more sloppy stories.

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lukasjamesDec. 30, 1311:13 AM

@overland There was a transformer fire along the light rail and 42nd Street. It was incredibly bright and I had to resist looking at it because it was as bright as a welding arc. My power went out.

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cobev001Dec. 30, 1311:59 AM

The story was frustrating because it was scattered and incomplete. Basic information like why was omitted. How did two staff have input on this? Hope you revisit this and convey more details. Seemed like you printed preliminary notes.

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antisuburbsDec. 30, 1312:00 PM

this is why you always should have some form of backup heat. Especially if you rely on electricity.

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