Storm Damage Adding Up. Freeborn County State of Emergency
The winter weather advisory continues till 10 am on Friday as the forecast is still calling for rain, sleet, snow, freezing drizzle and a mixture into Friday. So far well over 200 accidents have been reported in Minnesota and that includes 18 semis jack knifing.
The east wind could hit peaks of 55 mph today and couple that with the icing on power lines, one can expect power outages. Numerous power outages were reported in Owatonna this morning. As of 10am a phone call to Ellendale indicated that power had just come back on. Power was still out in parts of Southern Steele and Northern Freeborn county as of 10:30am .Downed power lines are being reported as well. There's a report of around a dozen power poles snapped off in the New Richland area. There were also reports of I90 closures for downed power lines west of Austin and also west of Albert Lea. Freeborn County officials report over 200 power lines down and travel is discouraged. The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners has declared a state of emergency due to so many downed and low hanging power lines. Restoration of power in Freeborn County will probably be a matter of a day or days instead of hours.
As of 9am Steele Waseca Cooperative Electric reported a known 1,000 customers without power. By 11 am that number had grown to around 1,300 and could continue to grow.
In Waseca County authorities are recommending no travel on county roads due to downed power lines. Highway 30 from New Richland to Manchester is closed as well.
For those of you venturing out, be wary of branches breaking off in this wind. Not only can they damage property, they can harm you as well.