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Crews Work To Restore Power To Sioux Falls

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Wednesday afternoon, Xcel Energy estimates it has restored power to more 32,000 customers in Sioux Falls. However, more than 28,000 remained without. As trees and power lines continued to fall, power crews throughout the city have been working around the clock to fix outages.

When you drive down Prairie Avenue in Sioux Falls. Patricia's Monohan's house is one of the first ones you see. The tree in her front yard has moved it's way over to her driveway, blocking her car from getting out of the garage.

Monohan said, "I heard it fall last night and I thought, 'ok now what is that? I didn't even look because as long as it didn't come through the house, I was fine'."

In her backyard, it looks nothing short of a war zone.
"It was pretty scary, listening last night with no power, listening to all the trees branches fall. Especially with that big cottonwood up there because I though oh no, it's going to come through the bedroom," said Monohan.

Patricia's power was out when she came home from work Tuesday afternoon, sometime before 1 o'clock. Just a guess, it has something to do with the wiring that's been torn completely off her house.

Sorlien Electric, Inc. Electrician Alan Roemen said, "This one is pretty bad because that big tree right back there is huge and you hear the ice crack and the branches snap and it's like ok what's going on now."

Alan Roemen of Sorlien Electric, says since the storm began, they've had 6 to 7 electricians working on 20 to 30 houses a day.

Roemen said, "We've just been telling 'em, we'll put you on the list."

But in these conditions, getting their service restored, has proved to be easier said than done. As Roemen is explaining to me and my photographer how many houses he alone is tackling, tree branches are snapping, falling down all around us.

Roemen said, "I've got four or five to do by myself so..."
As a branch falls behind him, KDLT Photographer Max Jensen asked, "A little jumpy?"
Roemen said, "Yeah a little bit, it makes you a little nervous."

Even though it makes his job even more dangerous, the work has to get done, as hundreds are relying on his services.

Roemen said, "They won't have power until, I'm guessing, late Thursday, Friday, if I had to bet."

On Wednesday, Xcel Energy has more than 230 people working to restore power. Crews from South Dakota, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Iowa are all working together. Depending on the weather, they expect to have power restored to most of the City of Sioux Falls by Thursday afternoon.
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