The power is back on for nearly all of the 250,000 Xcel Energy customers who lost electricity this weekend when a violent thunderstorm rolled through the Twin Cities and western Wisconsin.
Roughly 750 workers, including crews from other states, worked round-the-clock to get power restored, Xcel officials said. Customers still without power are those with damage to a residential mast, which requires a licensed electrician to make repairs before service can be restored, Xcel said.
To assist with these final restorations, Xcel is asking all customers who remain without power from the weekend storm to report their outage again at 1-800-895-1999.
Residents and street crews continued to clean up uprooted trees, broken limbs and other debris littering streets and yards after the storm blew through with 70- to 80-mile-per-hour winds. In Carver County, an EF1 tornado touched down west-southwest of Watertown and cut a 4-mile path across the county.
Farther north, around Brainerd, cleanup continues after strong storms battered the popular tourist and resort area on July 12. Madden's on Gull Lake said the resort will be ready to welcome back guests on July 28. Other resorts have been cranking back up in recent days as well.
For all of the structural damage to businesses, homes and forestland, there were no reports of injuries in either of these major storms the past two weekends.
In Duluth, strong winds are being blamed for a bridge along the popular Canal Park getting stuck in the upright and locked position. The Minnesota Slip Bridge, the little sister to the neighboring Aerial Lift Bridge, was out of service until repairs were completed Tuesday morning, city officials announced.
The cable mechanisms that unfold the 24-year-old bridge's deck skyward in two pieces "were compromised by wind gusts, forcing staff to pin the bridge in the up position," read a statement from the city issued Sunday night.