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What Caused Lake Harriet-Area Power Outage Tuesday Night?

Over 2,800 lost power.

Last night, you and 2,800 of your neighbors may have heard a buzz, then saw your lights dim or go out for a half-hour, and thought "We may be having unseasonably warm weather, but it's not time for brownouts yet, is it?"

Turns out, the cause was a little more dramatic.

While the finer details are still under investigation, an Xcel Energy spokesperson told Patch, it seems that a jumper—those big switches on power poles that let workers isolate a section of line—burned open. The electricity then arced over to the telephone pole, setting the cross arm supporting the wires on fire.

The problem was solved in exactly 24 minutes, the spokesperson said. Some traffic lights in the area were knocked out, and are currently flashing red, possibly slowing traffic.

"I wouldn't say these are frequent, but it can happen," she said. "That's hot equipment."

Thanks to readers Sarah Burgess and Alex Phung, who alerted us to the outage and gave us leads on possible causes.

Southwest Dad May 18, 2012 at 08:12 PM
I was at the Southwest choir concert as well. Not only did the choir do well to continue in the dark, but the pianists who were accompanying the choir kept playing! It was sort of eerie and impressive. I think they should have a Dark Concert every year.
James Sanna May 18, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Sounds cool :-)
Rita June 19, 2012 at 04:14 AM
? We are still without power in SW MPLS. Its 11 pm
Rita June 19, 2012 at 04:15 AM
We are stilllll without power in SW MPLS.
James Sanna June 19, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Hi Rita — if you check the timestamp on this article, you'll see it was published last month. I just took a look at the Xcel Energy outage map and I don't see any widespread ones. Do any of the one- or two-house outages look like yours? If not, give Xcel a call, so they can come fix it! http://www.xcelenergy.com/portal/site/xe-en/menuitem.471846b0c2475abf262a71986b108a0c/?vgnextoid=02b6719a0b3cd210VgnVCM100000b40b98aaRCRD&vgnextchannel=e97c6113f220f210VgnVCM100000b40b98aaRCRD&appInstanceName=xe

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