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Some Northland residents could be without power for days

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Some North Shore residents could be without power for days after the severe storm that came through early Thursday.

Minnesota Power, which provides electric power for 144,000 customers and 16 cities/towns, has described the issues as "major."

The company says 36,000 people were without power Thursday morning, including in Duluth, Cloquet and the Brainerd Lakes area. In Duluth specifically, one-third of Minnesota Power customers there didn't have power. And about 100 power poles were broken by blown-over trees.

Minnesota Power said on Twitter areas outside Duluth should be back online within a day.

But in the more severely hit Lakeside and Duluth neighborhoods, it could be three or four days before customers there get power back.

You can see the power outage map here.

Meanwhile two of the major news networks for the area, KBJR 6 and CBS 3, are off the air as of Thursday afternoon until further notice, as engineers try to get things up and running again.

And that's only a small amount of the total destruction.

Two campers in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area were killed when the storm rolled through.

In Beltrami County, the sheriff’s office said there was “destructive wind damage” that blew roofs off properties.

Lake Country Power says about 27,000 members were without power throughout Grand Rapids, the Chippewa National Forest area, and near the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness. About 6,000 of those customers got power back as of Thursday afternoon.

According to the Duluth News Tribune, official wind gusts were recorded as high as 72 mph – but the Government Services Center in the city picked up winds of more than 100 mph at one point.

The DNR says the storm damaged some state parks – Itasca State Park got the worst of it – and the agency is currently assessing how bad things are.


All the damage has agencies reminding people how to be safe.

The Duluth Fire Department and St. Louis County Sheriff's Office both advised people not to travel unless absolutely necessary Thursday morning.

Also, don't mess with downed power lines. Minnesota Power and other electric companies say a lot of times the wires are still energized, meaning they can be incredibly dangerous. Stay away yourself, and keep kids and pets away too.

Don't cut trees near power lines right now either, the Duluth Fire Department says.

And then the heat.

With temperatures soaring into the upper 90s, and the heat index even higher with the muggy air, law enforcement is reminding people to drink lots of water, and stay in the shade as much as possible.

If you don't have power, try your basement – or, look for a local community center (or even somewhere like a library) that is staying open late to give people a chance to cool off. For example AMSOIL Arena in Duluth will be open free of charge until 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday, the city says, and the Duluth Transit Authority is offering free rides there.

Photos from the Northland

Power outages in the Twin Cities

Xcel customers in the Twin Cities were in better shape. About 2,000 of them lost power from the storm, but Xcel said it expects everything to be back to normal by about 6 p.m.

You can check the outage map here.

At its height, the storm system stretched from across the Canadian border in the north down to the southern Twin Cities metro area.

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