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Minneapolis residents left fuming, and freezing, after Xcel Energy cut power for hours on frigid day

Minneapolis residents left fuming, and freezing, after Xcel cut power for hours
Minneapolis residents left fuming, and freezing, after Xcel cut power for hours 01:52

MINNEAPOLIS – Hundreds of south Minneapolis residents hunkered down without heat for nearly eight hours Wednesday after their power was turned off – on purpose.

The Cannons are just two of more than 600 people who were left in the cold. Gerald Cannon says he and his wife were told their power would be off for three hours, starting at 10 a.m. But instead, it went off an hour early.

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"When we called Xcel, they said that it would be on at one o'clock. We sat around, waited. One o'clock came. No electricity," he said. "But we kept getting the runaround from Xcel, you know, telling us just to be comfortable and that they ran across problems."  


An Xcel Energy representative gave WCCO this statement Tuesday afternoon: 

This was a scheduled outage to replace equipment in the area and enhance reliability to our system. Crews are working to safely restore power as quickly as possible, and we expect that power will be restored to impacted customers at around 4 p.m. today. When planned outages take place we do notify our customers in advance and our outage map offers real time outage information, including updated restoration times and outage statuses. We know customers depend on energy, especially during colder days, and apologize for the inconvenience this outage has caused.

"Why would they schedule an upgrade in the month of November and shut people's heat off?" Cannon said.

That's the "heated" question the Cannons want answered. They are happy to be warm again, but still unhappy customers.

"You would think they would have done that earlier when it was warmer. Fall. Earlier September. That would have been a time to upgrade. But not now!" he said.

As a reminder, Minnesota's Cold Weather Rule protects utility customers from having their electric gas service shut off between Oct. 1 and April 30. However, the state law does not apply to upgrade or maintenance work.

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