Gusty winds, power outages affecting Northland in wake of morning stormsPower outages have affected several thousand homes in the Northland on Friday morning during and in the wake of strong thunderstorms.
By: Duluth News Tribune, Superior Telegram
Strong storms that moved across the Northland overnight and early this morning have left gusty winds and power outages in their wake.
The National Weather Service reported that wind gusts to 50 mph were possible this morning in the Northland, with higher gusts on Lake Superior where a storm warning was raised.
There were numerous reports of trees and power lines down around the area during the morning hours - no doubt caused in large part by the combination of high winds and saturated ground. Many parts of the Northland saw rainfall of 2 to 4 inches from Thursday through today, with some locations seeing in excess of 5 inches of rain.
Power outages have affected numerous homes in the Northland this morning. As of 8:30 a.m., News Tribune staff and readers were reporting power outages in Duluth Heights and in several Superior neighborhoods. Earlier in the morning there were outages in the Woodland, Rice Lake, Lakewood and Mahtowa areas.
Minnesota Power spokeswoman Amy Rutledge said the utility was dealing with numerous outages scattered across its service area, all weather-related from downed trees and lines. She said repair crews would be out all day to restore service to customers.
Lake Country Power reported more than 6,000 customers without power this morning in the Grand Rapids and Kettle River areas. Most of the problems were caused by an issue with a transmission line that cut power to two substations. Gusty winds contributed to some additional outages in the McGregor and Round Lake areas.
Elsewhere in Minnesota
Xcel Energy reported this morning that nearly 140,000 customers are without power in central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities area, following severe thunderstorms.
The company reported that about 1,500 outages were affecting about 139,600 customers before 7 a.m. Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.