Residents in Worthington Digging out After Storm

Updated: 04/24/2014 9:21 AM
Created: 04/11/2013 9:44 PM
By: Katherine Johnson

Almost 20 miles of frozen power lines are on the ground outside of Worthington, Minn., leaving the entire city without power.

"No heat, no lights, if they don't have any generators or anything like that it can get cold," said Great River Energy Foreman Jon Borchert while rallying his crew for what could be the biggest job of their career.

"You just come out and do what you do to get her done," said driver, Rich Hubbard.

Hubbard kissed his wife goodbye Wednesday night, knowing the ice storm that swept through Nobles County will keep him away from his Elk River home working to repair power lines for weeks.

"My wife, she's used to me being gone," he said.

The city of Worthington is relying solely on city generators for heat.

"We've got 14 mega watts of power - and that's all we've got," said City Administrator Craig Clark.

"They're rotating through the town.  You get 45 minutes of power on, 45 minutes off," said homeowner Linda Griffith.

It's not safe outside, either.

"We had a lot of branches down yesterday and even more when we woke up this morning," said Clark.

"I've got a lot of branches hanging over my house too that I'm pretty worried about. It's already taken out part of my fence," said Griffith.

Seven inches of fresh snow fell overnight on top of the ice-coated roads and power lines.

"I'm tired of winter!" said Hubbard. "That's what I think of it!"

But he and his crew will keep pressing on to make sure they get the job done, get the city back on line and - Hubbard, back to his wife in Elk River.

"You always want to be as careful as you can so you know you can get home," he said.

The city is prepared to open warming shelters if any homeowners can't keep enough heat in their homes during the power outage.

Daily Poll

Minneapolis/St. Paul

Few Clouds
88° | 70°
  • Feels like: 72° F
  • Wind: SSW 5mph
  • Humidity: 76%