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Update: Thousands in Minnesota and Wisconsin are without power Thursday morning. Click here for the latest story.

With an unprecedented December storm bearing down on portions of southern Minnesota, Xcel Energy is urging residents to be prepared for possible power outages.

The storm is expected to cross into Minnesota late Wednesday afternoon, and move up toward the Twin Cities, Rochester and Red Wing this evening. Forecasts are warning of damaging straight-line winds, which could reach 100 mph in the strongest bursts. The National Weather Service says a few tornadoes are "likely."

Related: A tornado in December? It is literally unheard of in Minnesota

On social media, Xcel Energy is sharing information about what to do if your power does go out.

Xcel also said it has been planning for the storm, adding "extra crews" are ready "to assist with repair restoration efforts as needed."

"With safety as our top priority, our crews are ready to respond to power outages caused by severe weather and high winds expected over the next day," Xcel said in its post.

Xcel suggests preparing an outage kit ahead of time, including

  • A 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)
  • Instructions on how to manually open power-operated doors

Xcel's outage map can be found here. If your power goes out, you can look up an estimate for when it will be restored here.

The latest from Sven on Wednesday's storm

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