UPDATE: Rochester power outage cause - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

UPDATE: Rochester power outage cause

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) -

UPDATE: Rochester Public Utilities says a power outage hit about 3 p.m. and affected about 1,100 customers across many parts of the city.

RPU is blaming the problem on a blown lighting arrester at a substation.

That device is designed to protect against lighting strikes.
In this case, it was one that was part of a higher voltage transmission line.

RPU says the arrester has been replaced, and most service was restored in about 45 minutes.

In that time there were several instances of traffic lights out, people stuck in elevators, and fire alarms going off without any actual fires.

9-1-1 centers were also overloaded with calls.

Officials would like to remind the public that you should not call 9-1-1 for a power outage.

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Residents in Rochester are in the dark after a power outage hits.

According to Rochester Fire Deputy Chief, Steve Belau, the city of Rochester is experiencing a power outage covering a large portion of downtown. The area impacted is from about 9th Street Southeast to 19th Street Northwest and 5th Avenue East to about 11th Avenue West.

Rochester Fire believes the source of the outage may have came from the vicinity of the major construction project near Broadway and Center Street.

The Fire Department has responded to several elevator rescues so far.  There are no reports of injuries associated with the outage so far.

The Fire Department Emergency Management Division is urging motorists and pedestrians to use caution as many of the traffic control lights downtown are operating in a failure mode. They are flashing red which means drivers should treat them as if they were stop signs.

Emergency crews are wanting residents to not call RPU or 911 unless you have a true emergency.

RPU is aware of the outage and they are taking necessary steps to restore power. It is unknown at this time how long the outage will be.

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