Twin Cities wakes up to power outages, bitter cold, dangerous wind chill

Xcel Energy says about 9,000 customers in the Twin Cities northern suburbs lost power for more than 90 minutes Friday morning due to a substation problem.

Electricity went out at 5:38 a.m. in parts of Brooklyn Park, Osseo, Champlin, Maple Grove and Minneapolis.

Power was restored to all customers by 7:15 a.m., Xcel said, adding that the cause was a blown fuse at a substation.

With traffic lights out along  Hwy. 169 during the power failure, it was taking commuters nearly an hour to make their way from the Champlin Bridge down to Hwy. 610.

Elsewhere, vehicles parked along snow emergency routes in Minneapolis and some other metro area communities were being towed to impound lots before sunrise so crews could clear roadways still clogged by Thursday’s heavy snowfall.

The National Weather Service (NWS) reported 6.7 inches of snow Thursday in Plymouth, 6.3 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, 6 inches in north Minneapolis and downtown, 5.5 inches in Northfield, 5.3 in North St. Paul, 5.2 in Fridley, 4.7 in Watertown and 4.6 in Owatonna.

Minneapolis and St. Paul each declared a snow emergency, which took effect at 9 p.m. Thursday. Suburbs such as Plymouth, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Golden Valley and Robbinsdale did the same.

A wind chill advisory went into effect at midnight as temperatures plummeted below zero. By 5 a.m., the wind chill index was 20 below in Minneapolis, 22 below in Crystal and 19 below in Blaine. Minneapolis registered an overnight low of 9 below at that point.

The falling temperatures once again made for slick overnight roadways, too. The Minnesota Department of Transportation reported several vehicle spinouts in the area after midnight and several accidents after 4 a.m.

As of 6 a.m. Friday, the wind chill index in cities across the northern half of the state was 35 below or worse, and in the 20s for much of the rest of the state.

The National Weather Service says today’s high may only reach 6 above with wind chill values as low as 22 below. There’s a 20 percent chance of snow tonight with overnight temperatures dropping down to 3 below.

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