As the snowstorm approaches, Xcel Energy is bringing in additional crews to North Dakota in the chance that customers lose power.
The heavy snow and wind could cause power outages across the state, so hundreds of Xcel employees from all over North Dakota and Minnesota will be on standby just in case, according to a press release.
Customers can help by reporting an outage in multiple ways:
- Online at xcelenergy.com/out
- Text “OUT” to 98936 or text “STAT” to the same number to check the status of a power outage
- Call 1-800-895-1999 and follow the prompts
Customers can also see the latest updates on the Xcel Energy website which has an outage map and anticipated restoration time.
A few other tips from Xcel:
- Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume an electric line, even one that is on or near the ground, is energized and dangerous. Never, under any circumstance, touch or move a downed power line. If you come across a downed power line, leave the area and report it immediately by calling 1-800-895-1999.
- Keep natural gas meters clear. Clearing snow and ice from natural gas meters is key to avoiding the potential for dangerous natural gas buildup indoors due to vents becoming sealed when covered in ice and snow. Xcel strongly recommends keeping the entire meter assembly clear by gently removing snow or ice from the meter, associated piping and the roofline above the meter. Check often to ensure melting snow isn’t dripping on the meter from the roof or nearby trees. Use a shovel around a meter to move snow away; do not use a snow blower near a meter.
- Heating safety. If using a space heater, take care to ensure safety. When using a space heater, make sure the heater has the label showing it is listed by a recognized testing laboratory and read the manufacturer’s instructions and warning labels. Additionally, inspect heaters for cracked or broken plugs and connections; don’t use them if they are frayed, worn or damaged. Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when leaving a room and don’t go to sleep with a space heater on.