Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Shawn Jansen
Moose Lake Star Gazette 

Strong storms slam area Sunday


Jana Mundell

A tree fell on the power line in front of the Willow River Fire Department during Sunday's storms.

Area electric companies were busy restoring power earlier this week when a storm cell hit Sunday evening packing 70 mph winds, according to the warnings from the National Weather Service. The winds toppled trees onto power lines and snapped power poles.

Lake Country Power reported work crews worked through the night Sunday night and into Monday morning to restore power to 4,300 members, repairing 65 different outages. According to its press release, as of 10 a.m. Monday, 700 Lake Country members in the Kettle River service area, which includes Sturgeon Lake, Kettle River, Cromwell, McGregor, Wright, Moose Lake and Saginaw, were still without power with 48 different outages still to repair.

The cooperative's release stated its 10,000 square-mile service area experienced damaging winds, large hail, lightning, flying debris and tornado warnings.

Minnesota Power reported the hardest hit areas of its service territory to be Crosby, Cloquet (2,500 customers experienced outages) and Deerwood, and crews made steady progress working through the night to restore power to 6,500 customers.

Amy Rutledge, Minnesota Power's corporate communications manager, said in a phone call Tuesday morning that the number of customers with outages had been reduced to 1,500 as of Monday morning. She said additional crews were brought in to help restore power as quickly as possible.

The company also reported outages in northern Pine County. According to a report collected by Rutledge, Askov had 464 customers without power for about 17 minutes due to a tree down on a feeder line. Kerrick lost power for nearly 1.5 hours. A second outage around midnight affecting Oak Leaf Road and State Highway 23 was attributed to a tree that took down spans of primary wire. A tree on a wire and two other individual outages occurred in Askov.

One bigger outage affecting 137 customers in Willow River occured from 10:12 p.m. Sunday to 6:10 p.m. Monday due to a tree down on a primary wire.

In Moose Lake, the report stated 67 customers were without power overnight with a few single outages related to trees and wires down.

Sandstone also had 464 customers without power more than an hour and a half due to a main feeder being locked out.

Rutledge stated while the larger outages were restored by mid-afternoon on the 20th, some individual customers may have been without power longer due to trees down on wires from their house to the pole. She suspects more calls may come in as seasonal cabins, though vacant now, will be in use closer to the July Fourth holiday.

East Central Energy (ECE) reported Tuesday that 45 outages caused by trees and branches falling onto lines and by lightning affected 3,600 members during the storm on June 19-20. The average time without power was about three hours. Members served by the Hinckley and Denham substations were affected. A few outages also occured near Sandstone, Nickerson and Holyoke. Many of ECE's outages were in the Superior district, with some also south in Ogilvie, Cambridge, Rush City, Shafer and the Milaca service area.


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