3,000 remain without power
ASHLAND, Wis. - Xcel Energy crews continue to tackle restoring electricity to 3,000 area customers impacted by Thursday's severe storms.
The company said 20,000 people lost power after the storms, primarily in Ashland, Hayward and Ironwood.
"We recognize that power outages are challenging for our customers, particularly with the extreme heat, and we appreciate their patience. Be sure to stay safe in these conditions and check on elderly family members, neighbors and friends and take advantage of cooling stations in the area," said Christine Ouellette, Xcel spokesperson at the Eau Claire office.
"All available crews and contract employees have been working as quickly and safely as possible to make repairs and restore power," she said.
Restoration to service for most was expected by 8 p.m. Friday.
In Iron County, the Iron Belt and Upson areas were hit particularly hard, although there were reports of power outages throughout the county.
There were many stories of near misses.
Gloria Day, of Mellen, who was camping at the Upson Falls Park, said that the storm "was heavy and scared me out of my camper." She said she sought shelter with her dog in a main building at the campsite after the lightning struck a power line nearby.
"The wind is what scared me because it was up to 75 mph," Day said. She decided on packing up Friday to avoid additional inclement weather predicted for today, with flood warnings out.
Xcel Energy reminds customers to stay away from downed power lines. A downed line could still be energized and is very dangerous.
To report downed lines or an outage, call 1-800-895-1999.