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Xcel Energy Gears Up Extra Crews Ahead Of Winter Storm

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A winter storm is expected to drop as many as 4 inches of snow or more in the Twin Cities, and even more in parts to the south of the metro area, which could see closer to a foot.

WCCO meteorologist Mike Augusytniak says that snow is expected to arrive in Minneapolis-St. Paul around noon or a little thereafter. The snow is then expected to be a factor in the area until into Saturday morning.

In Southern Minnesota, we could see snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches an hour in some spots where the heaviest band lines up. It's possible more than a foot falls in the southern part of the state.

Most of the metro area and points south are under a winter storm warning, as issued by the National Weather Service.

In anticipation of the snow, Xcel Energy said they're deploying extra crews as Minnesotans getting ready to hunker down for a winter blast. Those crews are on hand to restore power should customers lose it during the storm.

"We understand it is inconvenient to lose power during a storm and we appreciate our customers' patience as our employees respond to weather-related outages," Troy Browen, senior director of distribution control centers, said. "We have employees throughout the region ready to quickly and safely restore any power outages that may be caused by this week's storm."

If you have an outage in your area, Xcel says there's multiple ways to report it -- from their mobile app to alerting them online, there's also a hotline at 1-800-895-1999.

Xcel also noted that it's important to always stay clear of downed power lines.

"Always assume an electric line, even one that is on or near the ground, is energized and therefore dangerous," Browen said.

Also, homeowners were urged to make sure they have a home emergency kit assembled, including such items as flashlights, batteries, back-up phone chargers, water and nonperishable food.

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