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Xcel Energy outlines flooding preparation, tips for customers

March 18, 2019 05:46 PM

With rising floodwaters impacting communities across the Upper Midwest, including some in Minnesota, Xcel Energy says utility workers have been identifying potential facilities that may be affected.

Those facilities include power plants and substations. A release said that because many power plants are located near rivers, those facilities have plans in place to ensure continued operation even if rivers rise above their banks.

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Xcel Energy spokesman John Marshall says they have identified two power plants that could be at risk and are putting flood plans in actoin.

The Black Dog Plant in Burnsville situated on the Minnesota River is protected by berms.  Marshall says they are sandbagging at that plant as well.

Also, the King Plant in Oak Park Heights along the St. Croix River has been identified at at risk. That plant is protected by a permanent flood wall.

"We have a permanent flood wall in place in Oak Park Heights right now, and it can see some expansion as flood activity increases," said Marshall.

RELATED: Closures in place as Cottonwood River in New Ulm expected to crest

Xcel said plans are also in place to respond to flooding-related outages that impact substations or power lines. Customers can sign up for outage notifications through the My Account feature on Xcel's website, or by downloading a mobile app available on iOS and Android.

There is also an outage map available on the company's website.

Customers are asked to text OUT to 98936 to report an outage or STAT to check the status of one.

Outages can also be reported via the mobile app, online, or by calling 1-800-895-1999 and following the prompts.

KSTP Spring Flooding coverage

The company is also asking customers to stay away from downed powerlines, and to build a home emergency kit including items like a battery-powered radio or television, flashlights, batteries, backup phone chargers, bottled water, nonperishable food and more.

In addition, the company is warning customers never to attempt to unplug or disconnect an electrical appliance if they must stand in water to do it, or even if they are on a damp floor.

If customers think the water might rise high enough to cover basement electrical outlets, they should switch off the circuit breakers (or remove the fuses) at the main electrical box. They should not go into the basement if there is already water on the floor.

Those planning on using a standby generator should take steps to make sure it has been properly installed and maintained.

A full list of flood resources can be found online.

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Credits

Frank Rajkowski

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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