When close to 2,000 people lost power in Minot yesterday-- Xcel energy crews responded within the hour. But-- often the thing standing between them and restoring that electricity is snow-- and lots of it.
Xcel is not responsible for snow removal, and if home owners have not maintained their storage many employees will face longer periods in freezing temperatures.
(Kathy Aas) "To keep our equipment and our load centers, the larger green boxes out there, to keep those free of snow. Because the crews have to get to that equipment, and if there's snow in front of it they'll have to shovel it out, and that delays our restoration time. We had work scheduled today,and with the cold temperatures, we would just delay that work, and so our crews will do work inside the building, but if there is trouble they will always go out, no matter what."
Aas says that the city's fire hydrants have similar rules, and if property owners follow the guidelines, communities receive quicker service when it matters the most.