Tens of thousands still without power in Minn. 25 Jun 13

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Xcel Energy Inc. says crews have restored power to more than 570,000 Minnesota customers.

The Minneapolis-based utility has been working for days to restore power following severe thunderstorms that swept through Minnesota and western Wisconsin from Friday to early Saturday.

At the peak of outages nearly 610,000 Xcel Energy customers were without service. As of late Monday afternoon the number was down to 39,000.

The utility says it expects to restore power to the vast majority of its customers by noon Wednesday.

The utility says it responds with top priority to situations that threaten public safety, such as downed wires. The next priority includes hospitals and nursing homes. Then crews focus on restoring service in densely populated areas.