KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

Underground Explosion Causes Massive Outages

Bookmark and Share


An early Friday morning underground explosion has caused massive power outages for businesses and apartments in downtown Sioux Falls.

Firefighters said they were called to the intersection of 9th Street and Phillips Avenue around 4:30, where they said smoke and flames were coming from a manhole. Officials said some of the flames were shooting 20-30 feet high.


“It sounded like 2 big bangs, it was loud enough to wake me up,” said Anthony Hawthorne, who heard the explosion from his hotel room.


Officials say an explosion underground ignited the fire, putting enough pressure on the manholes for them to physically blow off and damage the electrical system below.


“We're going to have to replace all the electrical equipment underground. It is completely damaged," said Jim Wilcox from Xcel Energy. 


The explosion initially left nearly 500 downtown customers without power and has forced crews to shut down the entire stretch of 8th Street to 11th Street until further notice.


“I haven't seen anything like this before where we've had an electrical fire in the vaults,” said Chief Jim Sideras of Sioux Falls Fire Rescue. “Normally it's really small and contained and this one just happens to be much larger and just because of the nature of it, it affected a larger area of downtown Sioux Falls that is vital to Sioux Falls and we want to get moving as fast as we can,” explained Sideras.


Once the fire was put out and no gas leaks were found, Xcel crews were able to begin the underground investigation to find out what happened.


Fire crews remained on scene throughout the day to assist in an emergency.


“The fire is out. We're not worried about that now. It's the safety of the people working underground that we have all the fire crews down here for," said Sideras.


Officials say the main priority is to get power turned back on for downtown residents as quickly as possible.


Fire crews are warning downtown residents not to use generators or try to heat their homes using grills or ovens. They don’t want people to do this to avoid carbon monoxide problems and risk of fire.





< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >

British Singer Joe Cocker Dies At 70

British singer Joe Cocker is dead at age 70.     His ...

South Dakota Deputy Among 19 Carnegie Heroes

A Hamlin County deputy who helped save a man and his 9-year-old son from drowning after their canoe ...

Avon Woman Dies In Crash Near Tyndall

An Avon woman died on Sunday in a two vehicle crash on S. D. Highway 37, six miles south of ...

Ian Keisacker Has Passed Away  Dec. 22

The Daily Scoop 12-22-2014  story with video  Dec. 22

Sioux Falls Casino Robbed By Armed Suspect  Dec. 22

Light Display Honors Deceased Husband  story with video  Dec. 21

SD Trying To Lure Lawyers Into Rural Practice  Dec. 21

Shopping Rush May Continue Till Christmas Eve  Dec. 21

Local Christmas Tree Farm Closed For Season  Dec. 21

Angel Tree Shines Light On Sioux Falls Agency  story with video  Dec. 21

Florida Police Officer Fatally Shot  Dec. 21

Firefighters To Give Toys To Hospitalized Children  Dec. 21

Woman Sentenced For Using Personal Data  Dec. 21

Freeman Nonprofit Explores $15M Arts Center  Dec. 21

USDA: SD Nov. Milk Production Increases  Dec. 21

SD Historical Society To Host NASA Webcast  Dec. 21

Officer Fatally Shoots Man In Rapid City  Dec. 21

MOA Officials 'Disappointed' With Protestors  Dec. 20

Reactions To Sony Cancelling, "The Interview"  story with video  Dec. 20

KDLT News Archive

Local Christmas Tree Farm Closed For Season

If you still don't have a Christmas tree, you might ...

Light Display Honors Deceased Husband  story with video

Decorating a home for the holidays has taken on a whole ...

Florida Police Officer Fatally Shot

Florida authorities say a police officer was shot and ...

Ian Keisacker Has Passed Away  Dec. 22

Woman Sentenced For Using Personal Data  Dec. 21

Shopping Rush May Continue Till Christmas Eve  Dec. 21

Avon Woman Dies In Crash Near Tyndall  Dec. 22

Angel Tree Shines Light On Sioux Falls Agency  story with video  Dec. 21

KDLT News Archive

Heat Recall Skyforce Andre Dawkins  story with video

MIAMI, FL – The Miami HEAT announced today that they have recalled guard ...

Big Turnout For Snowfox Candy Cane Classic  story with video

SIOUX FALLS, S. D.   --  The three day Snowfox Candy Cane Classic swim ...

Comeback Coyotes Win At Montana  story with video

MISSOULA, Mont. —Tyler Larson scored six of his team-high 15 points in ...

USD Tops North Dakota For 7th Straight Win  story with video  Dec. 21

Jacks Work Overtime For Dramatic Win At Utah State  story with video  Dec. 21

Jacks Down Utah State To Win World Vision Classic  story with video  Dec. 21

PENTAGON CLASSIC: O'Gorman Tops Western Christian, Washington Falls  story with video  Dec. 20

O'Gorman Boys Bounce Back Against Watertown  story with video  Dec. 20

KDLT Sports Stories
Back To Top