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Residents in towns along Hwy. 12 west of the Twin Cities lost power overnight

The outage affected towns from Delano to Cokato.

More than 4,000 people were without power overnight for about four hours as an outage struck a string of towns along Hwy. 12 to the west of the Twin Cities. 

According to the Xcel Energy, the outage impacted residents in Delano, Buffalo, Montrose, Waverly, Howard Lake and Cokato. The power outage was reported around 2 a.m. and appeared to be restored for many people by 6:15 a.m.

A little more than 1,000 residents remained without power after 6:15 a.m., with Xcel Energy projecting everyone would have power restored by 7 a.m. 

A reader messaged Bring Me The News saying their power in Montrose came back on around 5:45 a.m. but not before the temperature inside her home dropped to 54 degrees. They were using extra blankets to stay warm. 

The temperature in Montrose and surrounding towns around 6 a.m. was about 5 degrees below zero. 

"Unsure what has caused the outage at this point - remain in doors and do not use alternative means for heating (stove, oven, etc) as this can cause issues within the home - if the outage lasts longer we will set up emergency locations to shelter people and keep people warm," fire officials wrote on Facebook.

Aside from dressing in more layers and using blankets, Xcel Energy has tips for people who lose power during frigid winter weather. 

- Use a space heater, but make sure the heater is listed by a recognized testing laboratory and inspect it for cracked or broken plugs and connections. 

- Never leave a space heater unattended and don't go to sleep with it on. 

- Prepare a home safety kit and include a battery-powered radio or TV, flashlights, batteries, backup phone chargers, non-electric clock, bottled water, nonperishable food, manual can opener, first aid kid, etc. 

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