Thousands lack power in northern Minn.by Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
About 4,000 customers of the Lake Country Power electric cooperative in northern Minnesota remained without power on Friday after storms tore through the area Monday, downing trees and power lines.
Areas around Grand Rapids, Ely and Togo were the hardest hit by a pair of storms. Nearly 12,000 customers were without power at some points.
Tami Zaun, a spokeswoman for the utility, says Lake Country Power has brought in line crews from as far away as Fargo to help restore power.
"We've got 38 crews working out there today, and yesterday, too, and actually all through the week," Zaun says. "We called in extra help early on because we knew it was going to be slow going and we'd need the extra resources."
Zaun said sustained winds approaching 80 miles an hour blew down trees across Lake Country Power's service area, and crews have had to cut through the debris to reach damaged lines and equipment.
The storm damage was extensive, Zaun added.
"A lot of trees went down, and they also went down not only in people's yards but also in the right-of-ways," she says. "You know, breaking poles, and then taking power lines down. It's a mangled mess out there, and that's why its taking so long for power to get restored.
She said it may be late Sunday before power is fully restored.