Municipal Utilities Respond to Owatonna Mutual Aid Call

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Municipal Utilities Respond to Owatonna Mutual Aid Call

September 21, 2018

According to the National Weather Service, tornadoes and other severe wind gusts caused damage across southern Minnesota Thursday.

Some of the heaviest hit areas include Owatonna, Medford and West Concord.  Other areas hard hit include Faribault, Warsaw, Cannon Falls, Waterville and Northfield.  Damage from a few of those communities is likely attributed to tornadoes.

Wind gusts 60-70 mph were observed across parts of these regions.

Owatonna Public Utilities (OPU) called MMUA for mutual aid late Thursday night. While MMUA contacted nearby utilities, OPU staff completed a damage assessment. 

First thing Friday morning the following crews and equipment met at OPU: two bucket trucks and four lineworkers from Rochester Public Utilities, one bucket truck, one digger derrick and four lineworkers from Austin Utilities, and one bucket truck and two lineworkers from St. James.

All the utilities are veterans of mutual aid events, ranging from localized damage to hurricane restoration in the eastern U.S. 

An unconfirmed tornado also caused damage in and around Fairmont. At one point, approximately half of Fairmont was without power. Fairmont Public Utilities quickly restored power to most of its customers. Four poles were damaged and needed to be replaced.