All Xcel Energy customers who lost power during last week's storms have had service restored, the company says.
The last customers were hooked back up to the power grid just after 10 p.m. Wednesday , after more than five days of restoration efforts by the utility. Xcel said it had to replace more than 100 poles and 37 miles of wire.
Xcel's line crews got help from 22 other power companies from 15 states, although Xcel started releasing some out of state crews late Tuesday. More were sent home yesterday. Spokesman Tom Hoen said some crews were called back to deal with outages in their own states.
Hoen said the power restoration effort might be the biggest in Minnesota history. Over the weekend, Xcel said more than 600,000 of its 1.2 million Minnesota customers were affected by the outages that started when storms swept across the state June 21.
The National Weather Service reported wind gusts as high as 85 miles an hour across Central Minnesota in a pre-dawn storm that day. Gusts topped 60 miles an hour in the Twin Cities in a storm later that night. Parts of the state got more than 4 inches of rain.
The power outage that followed may exceed an outage from a storm on May 30, 1998.
Fifteen years ago, winds as high as 80 miles an hour in the Twin Cities caused what was described then as a record 485,000 outages in the Twin Cities, and came just two weeks after a May 15 storm that knocked out power to 440,000 in the metro area, according to media reports at the time. Xcel reported replacing more than 500 line poles by June that year.