Rochester Public Utilities | Blog

RPU recap of power outages and damage to electric infrastructure

Rochester Public Utilities (RPU) was busy over the weekend restoring power and repairing damaged infrastructure caused by the tornado and storms that came through Rochester last Thursday evening.


Over 5,000 customers lost power due to the storm with interruption times ranging from less than an hour to over a 24 hour span. Much of the damage was seen in the north part of Rochester where the winds were the strongest, but outages occurred in all four quadrants of the city. The winds and rain knocked over trees and blew branches into power lines causing the interruptions in service and in some cases, completely knocked down the lines and poles.


As the damage was inspected by RPU line workers, the decision was made to reach out to other utilities for mutual aid response. Friday night, crews from Austin, Owatonna, and Elk River responded and were working with RPU crews on power restoration. By late Friday night, there were 1,500 customers still without power, by Saturday morning there were only 100 customers without power. The work continued throughout the day on Saturday until mid-afternoon when all of the known outages were repaired.


Over 20 RPU line workers and many others from RPU and other utilities worked tirelessly to restore power to the city of Rochester. In addition, other RPU staff were available to communicate with customers and to offer assistance over the duration of the past weekend.


“The hard work of RPU staff and the crews from Austin, Owatonna, and Elk River was invaluable in dealing with the recent storm damage. The most important thing over the course of the past few days is that no one was injured and that we were able to restore power to all of our customers,” said RPU General Manager Larry Koshire.

Customers that have trees or branches which are close to interfering with overhead power lines, should call RPU to have it inspected and trimmed if necessary.


About Rochester Public Utilities


As the municipal utility of Rochester, Minn., for more than 110 years, RPU provides high-quality and reliable electricity to over 47,000 customers.  Water customers number more than 36,000.  RPU continually investigates innovative technologies to help customers realize the best value from the services they receive.  Current initiatives include fuel cell research, wind power, and photovoltaic offerings.



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