City deals with power outage

Xcel Energy crews worked Friday morning at the substation next to Twin Circle Apartments to restore power after a lighting strike.
A number of businesses affected after loss of power during Friday’s storm

By Per Peterson

It was lights out at Lights & Beyond and all over downtown Tracy on Friday morning after yet another severe storm blew through the area. This one resulted in an extended power outage in Tracy, although the cause of the power outage is technically still under investigation.
All over downtown, a number of proprietors could be seen outside their businesses Friday morning, waiting for power to be restored.
“We pulled up and noticed that Affordable Appliance (across the street) wasn’t open, didn’t have their lights on,” Lights & Beyond owner Jim Miller said Friday morning.
The lights came back on at 9:39 a.m., then went off right away again, then quickly came back on for good.
John Holbrook said he called 911 when he saw what appeared to be a fire at the substation next to Twin Circles at about 6 a.m. Friday. An Xcel crew could be seen working there throughout the morning. However, Xcel spokesman Matt Lindstrom said the cause of the outage was still under investigation as of Tuesday afternoon.
An Xcel Energy email sent to Tracy customers Friday said that the outage was the result of a lightning strike, but “our operations people don’t think it was a lightning strike,” Lindstrom said. “The actual cause is still under investigation.”
On the west side of town, Casey’s General Store was without power for a good chunk of the morning. Store Manager Kelly Jacob said there was “light power” at 6:30 a.m. before the power there went out all together.
“The lighting was crazy this morning,” Jacob said Friday. “The power went out twice. Our freezers and coolers (were) all out. The lights were flickering for a long time.”
Food Pride actually closed for business during the time of the power outage, yet across to road, Subway never lost power.
Last week was wet and warm in southwest Minnesota. The sultry weather was interrupted by much needed heavy rains Wednesday and Thursday. Two inches of rain fell in Tracy those two days.
• Wednesday’s storm included an EF-0 tornado, as confirmed by the National Weather Service out of Sioux Falls, S.D. The tornado briefly touched down near Lyon County Road 20, south of Marshall.
There were no injuries, but several structures at various locations were severely damaged.