Snow, rain, wind across Minn. force power outages, cancel flights

1:08 PM, Oct 28, 2010   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Thousands are without power and air travelers are being delayed as high winds continue to blow across Minnesota.

More than 100 flights were cancelled at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Tuesday and others were delayed by a record setting winter storm that brought wind, rain and even a little bit of snow by Wednesday morning.

RELATED:  KARE 11 weather home page

"The winds have been a major concern for us," airport spokesman Pat Hogan said.

Hogan says as of Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. the airport is still operating only one runway, allowing for about 26 arrivals an hour.  Hogan says flight operations are at about one-third the normal capacity. 

"We want to try to get everyone out of here as quickly as possible. So the airlines have taken steps to try to ensure that we don't have a huge backlog of people stuck in the terminal," Hogan said. 

High winds were also causing scattered power outages. According to Xcel Energy's website, as of 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning 20,263 customers were without power. 12,756 of the outages are in the west metro and the remaining 7,507 are in the east.

Residents can continue to monitor the power outages on Xcel Energy's website.

Crews with Connexus Energy have been working around-the-clock to bring power back to metro area residents. As of 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, last than 1,000 people are still without power. At the start of the day, around 3,000 were without power.

Downed trees are the cause of most of the power outages. Connexus Energy provides utility service to Anoka, Chisago, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Sherburne and Washington Counties. If the weather cooperates, the company says power should be restored to all customers by 5 p.m. Thursday.

 

KARE 11 Meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas says this storm that produced +50 mph winds creating a leaf blizzard in the Twin Cities will come to an end by Wednesday evening.  Before that time, expect more wind and rain/snow showers throughout the day.

 

RELATED:  Latest, local forecast

RELATED: All-time low pressure records 

A High Wind Warning is still in effect for winds over 50 mph across South Dakota, central and southern Minnesota, northern Iowa and much of Wisconsin.

Interstate Travel Weather Wednesday from the Twin Cities Metro area:

I-35 north to Duluth: Cloudy and windy with periods of light rain mixed with light snow but nothing heavy expected - temperatures in the 30s along the route.

I-35 south to Des Moines: Cloudy and windy with scattered rain and snow showers to Mason City, IA then a mix of clouds and sun across the rest of central Iowa - temperatures in the low 40s from the Twin Cities to northern Iowa and the upper 40s in the Des Moines area.

I-94 southeast to Chicago: Cloudy and windy with scattered rain and snow showers from the Twin Cities and east through western Wisconsin then partly cloudy from Madison, WI to Chicago - temperatures will be in the low 40s from Minnesota to Eau Claire then the mid 40s to near 50 degrees near Madison and the mid to upper 50s in the Chicago area.

I-94 northwest to Bismarck: Cloudy and windy with scattered rain and snow showers to the North Dakota border then changing to all snow west of Fargo and difficult travel due to low visibility from gusty winds and falling snow toward Bismarck - the snow will ease off in the Bismarck area by the late afternoon and travel will improve - temperatures along the route in the upper 30s in Minnesota and mid 30s in North Dakota.

RELATED:  Latest, local traffic info.

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