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Xcel says 11,000 tornado victims still without power

Fallen trees have downed power lines throughout the affected areas
Fallen trees have downed power lines throughout the affected areas
Erica Williams

The tornado that swept through north Minneapolis and the West Metro downed power lines and left more than 27,000 people without power yesterday, according to Xcel energy.

By this morning, that number had been reduced to 11,000 customers. Tom Hoen, an Xcel spokesman, said power should be restored to the majority of those by the end of today.

"One issue that we are seeing as we go forward is accessibility," Hoen said. "There's a lot of downed trees and debris, making access tougher."

Downed power lines and poles can make recovery efforts particularly difficult. To report outages or dangerous conditions, Xcel is asking people to call 1-800-895-4999.

As of this afternoon, Xcel's Trouble Department crews are working 16-hour shifts. There are 120 repair crews working the West Metro today, compared to the usual 34.

"We've called in everybody we can -- from the East Metro to St. Cloud," Hoen said. "If anyone isn't working right now, it's only because of the mandatory eight-hour rest period."

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