Accident causes weekend power problems

A one-vehicle accident appears to have sparked electrical problems over the weekend at the east edge of Maple Lake.

According to the Wright County Sheriff’s Department, a vehicle struck an Xcel Energy power pole at the city park at about 3:10 a.m. on July 4. The damage to transformers on that pole is believed to be the cause of power surges through homes from the park to County Road 8.

Pam Lemieux, who lives in the affected area, said “It was like aliens had landed. I woke up and the bedroom fan was going at what seemed like 100 miles an hour.” She said neighbors reported damage to ovens, microwaves and many other electrical appliances.

Cathy Elfstrand reported the loss of an air conditioner and garage door opener while Carol Borell said their sump pump was damaged. Lemieux said Xcel workers came to investigate the situation that afternoon. “They told us we shouldn’t use anything because the voltage going through the house was way too high.”

Xcel said that on Saturday, service to 173 Maple Lake customers was cut from 12:28 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. to repair and replace the power pole.

City staff said Xcel has asked residents suffering electrical damage from the incident to contact their residential insurance provider and the insurance providers will then contact Xcel for possible claims.

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