Crews Work To Restore Power After Spring Snowfall

By KBJR News 1

April 16, 2012 Updated Apr 17, 2012 at 8:19 AM CST

(Northland's NewsCenter)---Thousands of people still do not have power in northeastern Minnesota following Monday's snowfall.

Line crews worked through the night to restore power and repair power lines and poles.

Many people across the region woke up Monday to about 11 inches of snow.

"I couldn't even barley get out the back door it's so windy and snowy," Gerardo Martinez of Hibbing said.

At the height of the snow storm about 14,000 Lake Country Power members were without power in the Grand Rapids and Mountain Iron service areas.

"My parents were walking around shining lights on each other to help put make-up on, help put shoes on," Stacey Hull of Grand Rapids said. "Garage doors wouldn't open so you had to pull the cord to get them open."

The heavy snowfall is weighing on trees causing limbs to break and take down power lines and poles.

Line crews have been restoring power as safely and as quickly as possible, but say the snow is creating a tough, messy situation.

"It's miserable to work in," Jim Yrjanson, a Lake Country Power Lineman said. It's slippery, it's wet. Last night you couldn't even see 20 feet in front of you trying to find trees in the lines."

Severe road conditions Monday morning forced many schools across the Iron Range and Itasca County to close.

"Here we are in mid April, when typically the sun would be shining and we are calling school off for snow," Superintendent Joe Silko of Independent School District 318 said. "It's crazy Minnesota weather."

Numerous other outside crews are helping Lake Country Power to restore power service.

Lake Country Power hopes to have all power restored by Tuesday night.

Areas still affected include Side Lake, Cook, Orr, Ely, Blackberry, Remer, Cohasset, East Bass Lake, Amen Lake Road, and Pug Hole Lake.

Jennifer Walch
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