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Oronoco, MN (KROC AM News) - Oronoco-based People’s Energy Cooperative is still experiencing widespread power outages throughout its southeast Minnesota service territory due to Wednesday’s storm.

Stewartville was especially hard hit and the co-op says because of extensive and severe damage, customers in the city “should expect to be without power until at least mid-day tomorrow, possibly longer.”

People's Energy Cooperative outage map
People's Energy Cooperative outage map


People’s says crews are currently in the field working to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. Crews from neighboring utilities will also assist in restoring power.

“The safety of our members and our lineworkers are of the utmost importance. We are currently taking all possible measures to restore power and ensure the safety of our members, while also considering the safety of our lineworkers who are out working in these adverse conditions,” stated President and CEO, Mike Henke.

He added this information:

Co-op members experiencing a power outage should take these actions to stay safe and comfortable:

● Stay inside and dress warm in layered clothing.

● Close off unneeded rooms.

● When using an alternative heat source, follow operating instructions, use fire safeguards, and be sure to properly ventilate. Always keep a multipurpose, dry-chemical fire extinguisher nearby and know how to properly use it.

● Place a rolled-up rug or heavy towel in front of the bottom of doors to minimize any cold drafts.

● Cover windows at night.

● Keep a close eye on the temperature in your home. Infants and people over the age of 65 are more susceptible to the cold. Stay with friends or relatives or go to a shelter if you cannot keep your home warm.

Members should report any outages through SmartHub, outage texting (if you are registered), or by calling (800) 214-2694. Broken poles and downed power lines should also be reported by calling the Cooperative directly.

Rochester Public Utilities crews are also busy restoring service after hundreds lost power after the storm hit.  And RPU sent this message to affected customers:

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