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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Minn. power outage forces major businesses to close

  • A power outage forced some of Montevideo's major employers to close for the day Thursday, while many residents went without air conditioning.
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  • A power outage forced some of Montevideo's major employers to close for the day Thursday, while many residents went without air conditioning.
    Xcel Energy was expected to begin restoring power to the affected area between 6 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, according to Tom Hoen, communications director in Minneapolis.
    The Jennie-O Turkey Store further processing facility and the Walmart Superstore were among the larger businesses that had to halt operations. The outage affected about two-thirds of the community through most of the day.
    The city opened "cooling sites'' at public facilities with power, but they saw only minimal use, City Manager Steve Jones said.
    A transformer phase burned out at the Xcel Energy substation in Montevideo around 3:20 a.m. Thursday, initially putting 437 customers out of power, Hoen said.
    The damage was significant enough that Xcel realized a mobile transformer station would be needed. Power was cut to another 950 customers around 12:30 p.m. when the system was de-energized to allow workers to begin making the switchover to the mobile transformer.
    The Chippewa County-Montevideo Hospital relied on a backup electric generator to keep its buildings powered, and its operations were not disrupted, said hospital administrator Mark Paulson. Downtown-area businesses had power and continued to operate normally.

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