Minneapolis–June 2, 2020—With a major storm predicted to hit Minnesota today, Xcel Energy is gearing up additional crews who will work to get the lights back on if customers lose power during the storm. We also have many tips customers can use to stay safe, report outages and stay informed when severe weather strikes.

Strong winds, combined with hail and thunderstorms predicted today can occasionally cause power outages. We understand that power outages can be a major inconvenience for customers, so we began planning early Monday to prepare for weather that may cause outages and ensure employees and equipment would be ready and available. More than 300 employees are available at service centers throughout the metro area and greater Minnesota, to quickly and safely restore electric service to customers, and hundreds more contract employees are available to assist if needed.

“We understand how inconvenient it is to lose power and we appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding in situations like these,” said Lee Nordby, director of control center operations, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “Our employees are ready to quickly and safely respond to electric outages caused by the predicted thunderstorm.”

Additional precautions due to COVID-19 situation

Xcel Energy electricity crews are taking extra safety precautions as they continue working in the field to maintain the critical infrastructure that keeps the lights on.To allow crews to do their critical work, and for everyone’s safety, Xcel Energy is requesting that members of the public not approach them in the field, which will help maintain social distance to keep everyone healthy.

Report your outage.

Customers can help Xcel Energy get a jump on power restoration by reporting outages. Customers have a number of ways to report their outage.

  • Xcel Energy mobile app available on iOS and Android
  • Online at xcelenergy.com/out
  • Text ‘OUT’ to 98936 to report an outage, or text STAT to the same number to check the status of a power outage.
  • Call 1-800-895-1999 and follow the prompts—the automated phone reporting system lets customers report outages in less than 60 seconds. Once the cause of the problem is identified, the system or an Xcel Energy representative will provide customers with an estimated restoration time.

Stay informed

If outages occur, it’s important for customers to have access to the most recent updates about their power restoration. Customers can stay informed by visiting the Xcel Energy website or by downloading the mobile app available on iOS and Android. Additionally, the website hosts an outage map that displays information on the number of customers out and anticipated time for restoration. Customers can also stay informed by following Xcel Energy on Facebook and Twitter.

Other ways customers can prepare, stay safe

  • Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume an electric line, even one that is on or near the ground, is energized and therefore dangerous. Never, under any circumstance, touch or move a downed power line. If you come across a downed power line, leave the area and report it immediately by calling 1-800-895-1999.
  • Build a home emergency kit. Xcel Energy recommends assembling an easily accessible kit that  can  be used in the event of a power outage. Useful items may include:
    • Xcel Energy phone numbers – 1-800-895-1999 for residential or 1-800-481-4700 for business
    • Battery-powered radio or television
    • Flashlights
    • Batteries
    • Back up phone chargers
    • A phone that does not require electricity
    • Non-electric alarm clock
    • Bottled water and nonperishable food
    • Manual can opener
    • First aid kit
    • Extension cords (for partial outages)
    • Manufacturer’s instructions on how to manually open power-operated doors (e.g., garage doors)
  • Observe food safety. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food safety is directly related to the temperature of the food. To maintain refrigerator and freezer temperatures, keep doors closed as much as possible. A full freezer will stay at freezing temperatures for approximately two days and a half-full freezer approximately one day. Visit the USDA website for more information.