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Minnesota Power prepared for first winter storm, offers tips for customers without power

With line crews and equipment positioned across its service territory, Minnesota Power sent out a press release to assure customers that the power company is prepared for heavy, wet snow and high winds predicted for Friday and Friday night in northern Minnesota.

Such strong early winter storms often can cause power outages. An early forecast from the National Weather Service allowed timely preparations to ensure power will be restored as quickly and safely as possible if outages occur.

A potential danger in this storm will be the many trees weakened by the past summer’s storms. Our vegetation management crews have been working hard this fall to clear as many of those trees as possible to reduce the possibility of trees and limbs falling on power lines. Customers are urged to stay away from any such trees that appear to threaten power lines to their homes, and instead contact Minnesota Power at (800) 228-4966 to report any problems.

We remind customers to visit our online Outage Center at www.mnpower.com/OutageCenter to report an outage, view the outage map, and/or download the outage app on your smartphone to check on the status of power restoration times. Following Minnesota Power on Twitter and/or Facebook is another way to get timely updates on power outages.

Here are some tips to help customers weather a winter storm:

• Keep a “Lights Out” kit in an accessible place with at least one flashlight, a battery-powered radio and extra batteries.

• Use candles or camping lanterns with caution.

• If you have a fireplace, keep matches and firewood handy so you're prepared to build a fire to keep warm.

• Turn off televisions, stoves, microwave ovens, stereo equipment and other appliances except your refrigerator and freezer.

• Leave on at least one light so you'll know when power has been restored.

• Please do not go near any low or downed wires as injury or death could occur.

For more “Lights Out” tips, visit: www.mnpower.com/OutageCenter/WhatToDoIfLightsGoOut

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