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Xcel Energy planning for winter storm; offering customers preparation tips

In an effort to speed response time in the event of weather-related power outages, Xcel Energy is moving supplies and personnel into areas likely to experience the strongest effects of a winter storm expected to move across the area on Friday. (File Photo)

In an effort to speed response time in the event of weather-related power outages, Xcel Energy is moving supplies and personnel into areas likely to experience the strongest effects of a winter storm expected to move across the area on Friday.

Xcel also wants to remind customers to be prepared if outages persist for several hours or overnight by considering options for keeping warm in the home of a friend or neighbor not affected by a power outage. Anyone staying in a home without power should keep a supply of batteries, food, water and warm blankets and use extreme caution with candles or open-flame heating devices. Customers should also be careful to properly vent portable generators and gas heaters.

In the event of downed power lines, customers should assume they are energized, report the location to Xcel and stay away from the area.

Outages are more likely when icing occurs. Power lines laden with ice can break loose, damaging cross arms and poles. Tree branches often snap under the weight of ice and impact service lines leading into homes and residences. If the impact of a branch damages the meter box and service mast, which are customer-owned facilities, an electrician will need to make repairs and have the repairs inspected by city code officials before service can be restored.

Customers experiencing outages should contact Xcel at 1-800-895-1999 or report the outage from the Xcel Energy customer app. Customers may sign up for text or email notifications through the My Account link at the top right of the company's homepage, www.xcelenergy.com.

The Xcel customer app can be downloaded free through the Apple Store and Google Play.

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