Winter Storm in South Causing Rolling Blackouts in Minnesota
The historic cold and snow in parts of the southern U.S. have caused widespread power outages, with some rolling blackouts even affecting parts of Minnesota.
Having your power go out is something that happens from time-to-time here in Minnesota, but it's usually associated with severe storms that roll through the Land of 10,000 Lakes during our warm weather season, usually in the spring and summer. (And, yes, every now and again, a really bad ice storm will take down power lines during the winter, as well.)
But, luckily, we've been spared those 'rolling blackouts' that have occurred in states like California, where electrical suppliers routine cut power to thousands of residents to either prevent wildfires or because overtaxed power lines in that part of the country simply can't keep up with the demand for electricity during excessive heat waves or other events. Until now, that is.
Because now even Minnesota was affected by rolling blackouts, this time caused by the historic cold weather and snow that hit parts of the central and southern U.S. In fact, BringMeTheNews says that Minnesotans living in Moorhead (located near Fargo, North Dakota, just under 5 hours northwest of Rochester) were suddenly left without power Tuesday morning.
It's all because Moorhead's electrical utilities are controlled by the Southwest Power Pool (which seems odd to me because just looking at the map, Moorhead isn't located in the south OR the west, but I digress...). That 13-state electrical grid stretches from North Dakota (including a small part of Minnesota) all the way south to parts of Texas. And, when those central and southern states had sudden spikes in electricity-- trying to stay warm when that historic winter storm hit-- along with 'catastrophic failures' caused by the extreme cold, it then put 'extreme stress' on the grid, the story noted.
As a result, the Southwest Power Pool started implemented rolling blackouts in other parts of the pool (like here in Minnesota) to conserve electricity and make sure even more catastrophic outages would be prevented. This KMBC-TV story said the rolling blackouts, which started Tuesday morning, could continue even through the day on Wednesday.
I'm glad that we're not affected by any power outages like that here in Rochester. I understand why they're occurring, but like I said, it's still weird that even a tiny part of Minnesota finds itself in the Southwest Power Pool grid. How does that make sense? That's not the only weird quirk about Minnesota, though. Keep scrolling to check out 10 other facts about the North Star State you probably didn't know, either.