Power outage UPDATE: Xcel encourages residents not to install ge - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Power outage UPDATE: Xcel encourages residents not to install generators

Posted: Updated:
The affected area of downtown spans from Minnesota Avenue and 8th Street to Phillips Avenue and 11th Street in downtown Sioux Falls. The affected area of downtown spans from Minnesota Avenue and 8th Street to Phillips Avenue and 11th Street in downtown Sioux Falls.

Xcel Energy says customers in the downtown Sioux Falls area could be without power into this weekend.

Crews are working to restore power that was lost due to an underground fire that started at 4:37 am Friday. The cause of the outage is still under investigation and more that 500 customers were initially affected. According to Xcel, power was restored in about an hour to about 300 customers.

The incident caused manhole covers to blow off and sidewalk to buckle, according to Xcel.

During an update on the situation Friday afternoon, Sioux Falls Mayor Mike Huether told residents to heed the officials' warnings to prevent the situation from turning worse.

Xcel Energy Spokesperson Jim Wilcox said they are encouraging people not to install generators for the safety of the Xcel Energy crews working to restore power. Wilcox added that they have already restored power to a couple of buildings.

Fire Chief Jim Sedaris said people should not use ovens, grills or Knipco Heaters to heat their homes. He said using those items to heat homes could lead to a dangerous situation.

Trent Lubbers, City of Sioux Falls Public Works, recommended that residents turn off their water if they could not keep their pipes heated.

The Red Cross has set up a station for anyone affected by this situation and needing a place to stay. Those affected can call the Red Cross at 605-336-2448. The Red Cross is located at 808 West Avenue N. in Sioux Falls—just south and east of the Sioux Falls Convention Center.

The Sioux Falls Fire Department is helping Xcel Energy workers safely assess the damage, and Xcel Energy crews from the Twin Cities are en route to assist with repairs and restoration. Crews are working in a confined space where wires and cables connect and right now they are focused on fixing the problem.

Click here to see an idea of what they're working in.

Barricades are extended one block in each direction from 9th and Phillips is blocked, no traffic is allowed and people are asked to not cross the barricades.

The affected area of downtown spans from Minnesota Avenue and 8th Street to Phillips Avenue and 11th Street in downtown Sioux Falls. 

Residents should stay away from the affected area. There are large trucks and crews working in the area and they need a safe working environment free of unnecessary traffic.

There was a rumor of gas leak that has occurred but this is false. The situation is contained and safely under control and there is not gas leak.

Wilcox said residents could be without power until Sunday. The Red Cross is working with those residents to help them find a place to stay.

Lubbers tells KSFY News there is no impact on infrastructure or the City's customers.

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