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Parts of Minnesota remain without power following winter storm

One of more than 3,000 Northland customers still without power on a 10 degree Sunday morning, Cook's Elbow Lake Lodge was getting by with generators.

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One of more than 3,000 Northland customers still without power on a 10 degree Sunday morning, Cook’s Elbow Lake Lodge was getting by with generators.

“We are tucked back in here,” said the lodge’s manager, Lee Byram. “They’ve got to find the problem and get to it, and it’s hard enough in the summer. Now add two feet of snow.”

As of 7:30 a.m. Monday, about 700 Lake Country Power customers had no power. The cooperative said this weekend soft ground and access to power lines were key issues in restoring service. On Sunday it directed its members without power to stay elsewhere for the night. Power had already been restored to more than 7,000 customers since Friday’s heavy snow and strong winds toppled trees and branches onto power lines.

Although many resorts in the Lake Vermilion area are closed for the season, Elbow Lake Lodge was open. Some of its expected visitors canceled because of Friday’s storm, Byram said, but a couple of hardy guests were staying. The generators kept the restaurant’s freezers and refrigerators humming, along with some small heaters. Byram was working to keep water lines open, but showers had to be taken in town, he said.

“The good thing is it has been a super warm fall, so things are not frozen,” he said, but more than 48 hours without power in freezing weather is a hardship. “You do start to worry with these colder temperatures.”

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Britt resident Margaret Jewell - without power since Friday afternoon - was watching the Minnesota Vikings game at the Britt Lounge and Cafe Sunday afternoon. After shoveling 18 inches of snow, she said, the bar, with its heat and food, has been a refuge. But the last two nights she slept at home with the use of a down blanket.

“It’s just fine,” she said. “Perfect for sleeping.”

Jewell had tips she wished she had heeded before the storm hit Friday: turn your heat up ahead of time; fill buckets with water for flushing toilets and have flashlights ready.

“We were so excited, we forgot about all of that,” she said, noting a couple of Lake Country Power employees grabbing lunch at the lounge told her her power would be restored when she returned home.

Outside contractors have been called in to help the power cooperative, who were expected to work into Sunday night before taking mandatory rest, said Todd Johnson, director of operations for Lake Country Power.

Related Topics: WEATHER
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