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2013 Ice Storm in Southwestern Minnesota

April 18, 2013

The photo above was taken on Tuesday evening as Alliant Energy crews began making repairs to power lines and poles that had gone down due to the weight of 1 1/2 to 2 inches of ice that had accumulated on the wires.  
  FULDA FREE PRESS/Jerry Johnson
FULDA FREE PRESS/Jerry Johnson
The photo above was taken on Tuesday evening as Alliant Energy crews began making repairs to power lines and poles that had gone down due to the weight of 1 1/2 to 2 inches of ice that had accumulated on the wires.
	Milk, orange juice and other dairy, and meat products were piled on the south side of Maynards Grocery Store during the power outages to help keep the products cold.  
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Jerry Johnson
FULDA FREE PRESS/Jerry Johnson
Milk, orange juice and other dairy, and meat products were piled on the south side of Maynards Grocery Store during the power outages to help keep the products cold.
  A simple phone call to a few people turned  into 20 plus volunteers who helped Maynards and Antonios save what they could. 
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Jerry Johnson
FULDA FREE PRESS/Jerry Johnson
A simple phone call to a few people turned into 20 plus volunteers who helped Maynards and Antonios save what they could.
  A Hawk was sighted in the back yard on the east side of Fulda and was captured in this photo perched on a fallen branch looking over the damage the ice storm left behind. 
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Jerry Johnson
FULDA FREE PRESS/Jerry Johnson
A Hawk was sighted in the back yard on the east side of Fulda and was captured in this photo perched on a fallen branch looking over the damage the ice storm left behind.
By Norma Dittman, Fulda Free Press staff writer
Thousands and thousands of white spears point toward the sky in southwestern Minnesota where the weight of ice and snow caused branches of varied sizes to break off of deciduous trees and crash to the ground. Tops of pine trees bowed low, giving the trees a disjointed appearance, while their lower branches hung heavily toward the ground.

The 2013 April ice storm that caused Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to declare a state of emergency in southwestern Minnesota began on Tuesday, April 9th with rain that soon turned to freezing rain. Power lines became coated with 1 1/2 to 2 inches of ice.

To add to the strain of ice weight already on the lines, six to eight inches of wet, heavy snow fell on Thursday.

The additional snow weight caused most of the main high-voltage transmission lines feeding the area to snap which left no outside sources of power, according to Rick Burud, general manager of Nobles Cooperative Electric.

Initial damage assessments report approximately 2,000 poles were damaged as a result of the storm along with hundreds of miles of line.

On Monday morning, Nobles Cooperative Electric’s website update of their repair progress stated, “A full assessment continues. Nobles Cooperative Electric has about 1,259 members that are still without power. We continue to work to restore temporarily single-phase services to the Indian Lake, Worthington, Bigelow, Lorain, Bloom, Elk, Grand Prairie, and Westside Townships. A current estimate for power restoration to all members is Friday. However, we are not sure we will meet this goal. We should be fairly close if the weather cooperates. Crews will continue working until all power has been restored. Your cooperative restores power based on returning the most customers at a time. For example, priority is given to restoring a substation, which may have hundreds off, then major distribution lines before restoring individual outages. Nobles Cooperative Electric wants to make the maximum impact on outage restoration and getting the most members on that we can. Please keep in mind that Nobles Cooperative Electric members with downed power lines from their meter to their house or outbuildings need to call an electrician for repairs. Nobles Cooperative Electric crews will not be fixing them. We are responsible for connections up to the meter only. Nobles Cooperative Electric would like to express their appreciation to everyone for their patience and understanding. “

Alliant Energy’s website reported that they have a total of 962 customers in Murray County. 870 of those customers were without power. Of their 810 customers in Nobles County, 645 were without power.

Alliant brought in extra line crews from Burlington, Preston, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, Clinto, Decantur City, and Ottumwa, Iowa. The crews were sent to first concentrate on the areas of Hills and Fulda which appeared to be the hardest hit.

The company reported 225 downed power poles and 250 downed transmission lines.


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