Early morning storms knock out power in metro areaby Elizabeth Baier, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — About 1,000 people are still in the dark after an early morning storm system knocked out power lines throughout the Twin Cities.
Crews with Xcel Energy have been out all morning restoring power to homes. As of 10 a.m., the remaining outages were mostly located in the east metro area, including Stillwater and St. Paul, according to Xcel Spokesman Tom Hoen.
"We didn't see the damage to the system that we did with the tornado that we saw last week," Hoen said. "We do have a lot of reports of some downed lines due to lightning strikes and some trees that blew into the lines, so we're asking that residents that see these do not go anywhere near them."
The National Weather Service reported that clusters of thunderstorms rolled through central and east central Minnesota early this morning before heading eastward toward Wisconsin.
Small hail, gusty winds and localized heavy rainfall are possible with some of the stronger storms, the weather service reported. A cold front is also expected to follow the storms.
At the peak of the outages this morning, nearly 14,000 customers were left in the dark for more than 10 minutes Tuesday, Hoen said.
The outages were widespread, Hoen said, because random lightning strikes throughout the region took down power lines.
Crews expect to have the remaining outages restored by lunchtime.