With the risk of flooding in the Upper Midwest continuing to grow, Xcel Energy is preparing its facilities as well as providing safety information to customers who may be affected.

According to a news release Monday, March 18, 2019:

Xcel Energy urges caution for customers who now may experience flooding in their homes and businesses. In certain flood-related situations, Xcel Energy may need to disconnect electric and/or natural gas service to ensure customer safety.

Customers should not attempt to disconnect electricity or natural gas service themselves and are encouraged to contact Xcel Energy customer service at 1-800-895-4999 with questions or concerns. 

Here are some steps customers can take to stay safe and prepare for flooding. If you have water in your basement:

  • Do not touch or attempt to unplug or disconnect an electrical appliance if you have to stand in water to do it. Don't even attempt it on a damp floor.
  • If you think the water might rise high enough to cover basement electrical outlets, switch off the circuit breakers (or remove the fuses) at the main electrical box. Don't go into the basement if there is water already on the floor.
  • If you plan to use a standby generator, please use extreme caution, and make sure it is properly installed and maintained.

Workers preparing for potential flooding throughout the region

Utility workers are identifying potential facilities, such as substations and power plants that may be affected by flooding. As many power plants are located near rivers, these facilities have plans in place to protect the plants and ensure they can continue operating if rivers rise out of their banks. Additionally, plans are in place to respond to flooding-related outages that affect substations or power lines.

“Our employees are ready to respond to flooding-related issues at our facilities and throughout the communities we serve,” said Lee Nordby, director control centers and trouble operations, in a statement. “We’re developing plans to protect our infrastructure from floods to prevent any outages, as well as sending crews to restore power if outages occur.”

Sign up for outage notifications

Xcel Energy customers can sign up for outage notifications through the My Account feature on the Xcel Energy website or by downloading the mobile app available on iOS and Android. Additionally, the website hosts an outage map that displays information on the number of customers out and anticipated time for restoration. Customers can also stay informed by following Xcel Energy on Facebook and Twitter.

Report an outage

Customers can help Xcel Energy get a jump on power restoration by reporting outages. 

  • Text OUT to 98936 to report an outage or text STAT to check the status of your outage.
  • Via the Xcel Energy mobile app available on iOS and Android
  • Online at xcelenergy.com/out
  • Call 1-800-895-1999 and follow the prompts-the automated phone reporting system lets customers report outages in less than 60 seconds. Once the cause of the problem is identified, the system or an Xcel Energy representative will provide customers with an estimated restoration time.

Prepare, stay safe

Stay away from downed power lines. Always assume an electric line, even one that is on or near the ground, is energized and therefore dangerous. Never, under any circumstance, touch or move a downed power line. If you come across a downed power line, leave the area and report it immediately by calling 1-800-895-1999.

Build a home emergency kit. Xcel Energy recommends assembling an easily accessible kit that can be used in the event of a power outage. Useful items may include:

  • Xcel Energy phone numbers - 1-800-895-1999 for residential or 1-800-481-4700 for business
  • Battery-powered radio or television
  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Back up phone chargers
  • A phone that does not require electricity
  • Non-electric alarm clock
  • Bottled water and nonperishable food
  • Manual can opener
  • First aid kit
  • Extension cords (for partial outages)
  • Manufacturer's instructions on how to manually open power-operated doors (e.g., garage doors)