High winds and low temperatures and blowing snow made outdoor activities dangerous for the unprepared Sunday, January 26, 2014. A snowman on Lake Harriet in Minneapolis Sunday afternoon. Blowing snow at times obscured the far shore.
As temperatures plummeted into the subzero teens early Monday, dozens of Twin Cities customers suffered power outages, according to the Xcel Energy website.
More than 50 Maplewood customers lost power about 1:30 a.m., while a handful of customers in Minneapolis, Richfield, Shorewood and Vadnais Heights were hit after 3 a.m. In each instance, Xcel said restoration could take as long as four hours.
As of 4 a.m. Monday, the wind chill index across the Twin Cities hovered near 40 below. Temperatures ranged from 11 below to 15 below, and continued to fall.
But overnight comfort levels were far worse for Xcel’s customers in northern Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin because of Saturday's pipeline rupture in Canada, just south of Winnipeg.
After the incident, Xcel asked customers in the affected areas to lower thermostats to 60 so that services could be maintained until a new supply of natural gas was delivered.
Late Sunday, Xcel issued a statement saying it anticipated services in those would reach full capacity sometime on Monday.
“We know your houses are uncomfortably cold, but we want you and your neighbors to know that your efforts have helped us maintain service to more than 100,000 customers," the statement said. "We ask you not to let up now."
SUSAN HOGAN | @StribNightOwl
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