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Power outage leaves Blomkest residents in the cold during storm

WILLMAR -- Many area townships cancelled annual meetings and election of supervisors and officers Tuesday because of inclement weather.

Irving Township, in northern Kandiyohi County, conducted its meeting, with 25 voters in attendance. According to information provided by the township, Russell Schmidt was re-elected supervisor and Howard Powers was re-elected treasurer. Both received 24 votes.

The township levy was set at $240,000 with $10,000 allocated for the general fund, $200,000 for the road and bridge fund and $30,000 for the fire fund.

The annual Kandiyohi County township and week meeting will be held at 8:30 a.m. Monday at the Health and Human Services building. State auditor Rebecca Otto is scheduled to attend.

BLOMKEST -- It was a cold night in Blomkest as residents experienced a power outage that lasted for about seven hours.

The outage happened Tuesday night and continued into Wednesday morning as subzero temperatures and howling winds pounded the state in a late-March snow storm.

"It was cold in the house," said Mary Gauerke, of the long night without heat.

Gauerke and her husband, the Rev. Ken Gauerke, live in the parsonage of the Blomkest Baptist Church.

The power flickered a number of times and then shut down for good at 10:15 p.m., she said.

It was 50 degrees in the house at 1 a.m.

She "didn't have the nerve to look" how cold it was when the power was finally restored around 5 a.m. by Xcel Energy crews.

Gauerke said she slept with a jacket over a sweater to keep warm. They also kept faucets running during the night to prevent frozen pipes.

There was no word on whether anyone experienced serious problems during the outage.

"The whole town was dark, so I know it affected all of us," she said.

A call to Xcel Energy was not returned.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

(320) 894-9750
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