Snow causes trees and power lines to fall

Downed Lines

ALBERT LEA, MN — Even though the forecast was calling for it, many Albert Lea residents were surprised when they woke up to snow.

“I’ve seen it in April, but I’ve not seen it in May,” said Albert Lea resident John Ault.

For Ault, it caught him a bit more off guard.

“We spend six months in Florida and six months in Albert Lea, Minnesota; kind of the best of both worlds, but I didn’t expect to come back to this,” Ault said.

In fact, it was so unexpected for him, that he does not even own a snow shovel, so he used the next-best thing. Plus he has his own personal helper.

“It’s his first snow, heavy snow, and he just loves it, loves the snow,” Ault said, “Just like he loves the beach in Florida.”

But there is one thing his dog cannot help with.

“I woke up during the night and we had no power and a couple of times later on I noticed we didn’t have power, but then it came back on,” Ault said.

He is not alone. Hundreds of Albert Lea residents were left without power due to the weather and crews have been staying busy trying to restore it.

“We’ve been going pretty steady since one o’clock this morning. Got a lot of wet, heavy snow on the lines and trees coming down through the line,” said Larry Underdahl, Director of Operations with Freeborn Mower Cooperative Services.

The thing is, Underdahl and those at the coop. know they are not done yet.

“More tree branches coming down and as the temperature’s warming up the snow is coming off the lines and they’re slapping together and kicking the lines out that we’ve put back up, so we’ve had to go back and re-do what we’ve already done,” Underdahl said.

Until they are able to get power back up and running, Albert Lea residents are left looking outside in awe.

“It’s unexpected, but I’m sure people are glad and happy to see it and I’m sure happy to see it go quickly,” Ault said.

Underdahl said that the crews will probably be working until dark. At that point they will evaluate how much work is left and figure out if they can finish the rest or start back up Friday.

If you notice a power line down crews remind us to assume that it is live. They say to stay away from it and call your power company immediately.

Alliant Energy’s number is 1-800-alliant and you can reach the Freeborn/Mower County Co-Op at 1-800-927-6201 or visit their website.

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