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MN Power, SWLP crews deploy to Illinois after Derecho causes significant wind damage

DULUTH, MN-- Crews from Minnesota Power and Superior Water, Light and Power are traveling to to Illnois to help crews restore power after a massive wind storm swept through the area Monday.

The wind storm, known as a derecho, downed power lines, trees and caused damage to homes and businesses as it swept across Iowa, Illinois and parts of Wisconsin with widespread wind gusts of 70 to 100 mph, with a wind gust near Cedar Rapids, Iowa of 112 mph.

Storm Damage in Rockford, IL (CREDIT: WREX)

18 Minnesota Power lineworkers, two Superior Water, Light and Power lineworkers and four other workers are currently in La Salle, Illinois helping Ameren restore power in the area.

Ameren reported that 15,000 people are still without power as of Wednesday morning in central and southern Illinois.

According to the Associated Press, hundreds of thousands of residents in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Davenport remain without power.

“We’re always willing to lend a hand when we can. With fair weather in the forecast here for the immediate future, we have the resources to help Ameren get the power back on for their customers, while maintaining a strong presence here at home to respond to outages should they occur,” said Tim Laeupple, manager of line operations at Minnesota Power.

“The pandemic obviously makes a mutual aid response more challenging, but with safety and health guidelines in place, we’re prepared to meet the challenge" Laeupple added.

Back in 2016, crews from Ameren traveled to Minnesota to help Minnesota Power crews restore power after a damaging wind storm left thousands in Duluth and surrounding areas without power.

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Austin Haskins

Meteorologist/Web Producer

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