Xcel: Power restored to 98 percent of customers after winter storm outages

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Xcel Energy announced Saturday night it had restored power to nearly all of its 100,000 customers who lost it earlier this week due to severe weather. 

The company said about 98 percent of its customers affected by the winter storm outages now have power once again. About 900 customers are currently still without power in southwest Minnesota, which saw the brunt of the damage. Xcel said it expects power to be restored there by Sunday afternoon. 

About 900 employees, contractors and mutual aid partners worked to restore the power after more than 650 power poles and hundreds of power lines in the Upper Midwest went down in the storm. 

"Crews have worked day and night to repair and rebuild the infrastructure needed to restore service to customers," said Xcel in a release Saturday. 

According to the release, Restoring power after a major storm is a challenging and complex situation. Top priority is given to situations that threaten public safety, such as live, downed wires.  We also prioritize our efforts to help the most people possible, as quickly as possible. The damage from this storm was so extensive, we needed to rebuild portions of our power grid knocked down by the prolonged storm.