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Strong Winds Knock Down Power Lines - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Strong Winds Knock Down Power Lines

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Linemen and firemen were kept busy overnight as high winds created havoc with power lines.

Joanna Erber's South Fargo home was just one of several Fargo firefighters staked out, thanks to tree limbs bringing lines down in the home's front yard. The Erber home was already blocked off with yellow caution tape when the family got home from a night at the movies and McDonald's, hoping for a warm night on the couch.

"Go to the neighbors, I guess," says Erber, standing with the fire crew in the street in front of her home. "Candles, board games."

"Computer," puts in her daughter Liz. The wind and rain are fairly chilly.

"There's no power," says her mother.

Firefighters say it can take quite awhile for Xcel crews to get to each site, depending on how many linemen are working, and how backed up they are. At one point Thursday night, as many as 117 homes were out of power around the city.

And firefighters say arcing lines can create a fire risk to homes, as well as being a safety hazard for passersby.

Firefighters say homeowners should remember to take downed lines seriously, even if you think it's just a phone or cable line. They recommend you call 911, and don't try to deal with it on your own.

Strong Winds Across the Dakotas

Strong winds are causing problems for motorists, trees, electrical crews and buildings in the Dakotas.

The National Weather Service has posted high wind advisories and warnings for a second day, with gusts of more than 70 mph in some areas. Transportation officials in both states have issued travel alerts. There are reports of numerous overturned vehicles in South Dakota.

Power outages also have occurred in the two states as electrical lines have been blown down, especially in South Dakota's Black Hills. The Pennington County Courthouse in Rapid City, S.D., shut down Thursday due to a power failure.

On Wednesday, The Dickinson Press reports a building under construction in the North Dakota town of New England collapsed. Hess Corp. shut down some oil rig activity in the region.

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