Due to the storms late Friday (7/17) & through early Saturday (7/18), there were 240,000 Xcel customers without power Saturday morning according to KSTP. This was bad timing as the Brained lakes area was hit with a damaging storm last Sunday (7/12) the electric utilities are still playing catch up from then. So the Twin Cities area (Watertown to Hudson, WI & Andover to Savage) were hit pretty hard. A tornado was reported south of Watertown, MN, winds that were gusting to over 60 mph in the south and west metro and over 1" of rain in some areas. This caused tree limbs to fall off trees, complete trees to topple over and general storm damage. Some of this fell on overhead power lines to homes (and businesses); many times the falling branches will damage the wiring, risers, masts, meters, and other electric components. As this damage was metro wide (not just a localized area) this will take Xcel Energy days to assess and repair damage to their power lines. However, when Xcel comes out and sees damage to a home’s electrical wiring, whether it be totally ripped off the house or even a bent mast; they will disconnect power for safety as it is unsafe condition with live wires, trees on the wires, and can cause electrocution or even start a fire. They will just let the owner know that they need to call an Electrician.
Harrison Electric has geared up and had vendors open up for emergency pick up and emergency deliveries for parts to the extent of over $20,000 to make these repairs. All of our crews will be set up to do these repairs on a first come basis. At this point other electrical contractors are referring their customers to call us. The sooner you call the sooner you will be on the schedule; wait and you will be further down the list. When Xcel comes to an area they do the most good; the areas with the most homes will be served first and if you wait to do the repairs, Xcel will go on by and come back when they have time, as they will move on to other areas rather than do the single households. Homeowners who want to be prepared need to be on our list to get prepped for Xcel to hook them up. As of 6 PM Sunday, there still were over a 1,000 outage areas; which is over 7,000 homes. In addition to doing repairs, Harrison Electric also sets up homes to be prepared for these types of mass power outages outages caused by storm damage, and can make a home generator ready. Xcel Energy hasn't given a full detail of when they will be done doing assessments. We estimate the amount of time it will take to get all the customers power restored to the areas based on prior experience it will be a week to get to 90% and another week to get to 100% as this storm system was so wide spread - and Xcel can't concentrate crews on a specific area (like the tornado that hit North Minneapolis about 5 years ago) where there was a concentrated area about a mile wide by 2 miles long. It took Xcel with all their crews about a week to get to 90% even then. The best way to get in touch with Harrison Electric is by calling 763-544-3300 - emails & online forms will be reviewed within 48 hours as we will be coordinating with crews, vendors, inspectors, Xcel Energy & of course customers to get power restored as quickly as possible.
Thank you for your understanding as we want to help restore power as quickly as possible.
The Harrison Electric Team!