MINNESOTA - High windstorms and ice storms have cause overhead power lines in Minnesota to become hazardous and at risk of failure. Statewide, the ice storms are heavy enough to break the lines and the windstorms are high enough to blow down the lines. Several electric cooperatives have experience repetitive outages during a single storm because the lines break in several areas from heavy ice and high wind.
The State of Minnesota has taken a pro-active role in providing some relief to communities that encounter repetitive power outages by converting damaged power lines to underground cables. Across the State, there have been more than 92 miles of damaged, overhead power lines converted to underground cable since 1995.
The underground cable will eliminate the problems associated with heavy ice breaking the lines, high wind blowing down the lines and manual, time-consuming labor to repair downed lines. Local electric cooperatives continue to express interest in power line conversions, and the State plans to continue supporting conversions to underground lines because they are a proven effective mitigation measure.