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Update: About 40,000 still without electricity after storms

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About 40,000 Minnesotans – a majority of them in the west metro – remained without power Monday afternoon after a series of weekend storms, Xcel Energy says.

Xcel utility crews, plus hundreds of linemen brought in from other states, have lowered that number from about 72,500 Sunday night, and nearly 600,000 at the peak of the outages.

Xcel's power-restoration page says, "As we close in on the restoration of service, our line workers are dealing more with smaller outages, as well as outages that are more complicated due to extensive tree damage, so progress appears slower. We continue to fully dedicate all resources to restore power to the remaining 40,000 customers without power."

The remaining jobs are some the most complex for Xcel, requiring more equipment and presenting some of the most dangerous challenges, the Star Tribune reports. In some cases, trees are tangled in wires, the newspaper reports.

The Minneapolis-based utility says it still plans to have electricity restored to all customers by about midday Wednesday. There is a method to the company's strategy: Hospitals and nursing homes take priority, as do areas with dangerous downed power lines. Then crews head to outage areas where a fix will bring power back to the highest number of customers with the least amount of work, KARE 11 reports.

Meanwhile, a number of neighborhoods were still cleaning up after the storms toppled trees and branches. One Longfellow neighborhood writer in Minneapolis blogged in the Christian Science Monitor about four lessons he learned from the storm.

FOX 9 has a list of tree debris drop-off sites. The city of St. Paul will pick up downed limbs and tree debris that are left on the curb, the Pioneer Press reports.

MPR examines the question many are asking: When trees crush property, who is responsible?

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