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Hundreds of power poles snapped by high winds, thousands of Minnesotans without power

Southern Minnesota is being hammered by strong winds, snow and ice.

Heavy snow, ice and high winds have resulted in down branches, power poles and thousands of Minnesotans without electricity on Thursday. 

As of 1:20 p.m., Xcel Energy's outage map showed more than 6,000 people in the Twin Cities metro area without power and more than 25,600 without power in the southern half of Minnesota and parts of western Wisconsin. 

All power companies in Minnesota are reporting a combined total of 38,192 customers without power as of 1:15 p.m. 

Around 10 a.m., Nobles Cooperative Electric reported more than 4,000 people without power, asking people to stay patient as they get busy signals when trying to report outages due to such high call volume. 

"At this point, we are asking members to take additional precautions. They may be without power for a few days," the electric company said

The video below is on Hwy. 59 north of Worthington, where transmission lines were downed. 

Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services in southern Minnesota issued a release saying 300-400 power poles are down, resulting in about 7,500 customers without electricity. 

Much of Stewartville and Dover in southeast Minnesota were hit hard by outages, with People's Energy Cooperative reporting "extensive damage" in areas to the south and west of Rochester. They expect some outages to last 36-48 hours as well over 75 poles and a transmission line are down. 

Minnesota Valley Electric reported at least nine power poles snapped from heavy snow, ice and high winds. 

Winds were strong enough in northern Iowa to blow over a canopy as a Casey's gas station in Lake Mills, which is just across the border to the southwest of Albert Lea. 

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