Crash in Shoreview causes ‘major power outage’

Crews from Xcel Energy spent more than 6 and a half hours repairing damage to a vital electrical pole in Shoreview that was struck by an impaired driver Aug. 29, directly causing widespread power outages.

According to the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, the damage to the pole, located in the 5900 block of Hodgson Road, caused “a major power outage at rush hour to stop lights in Arden Hills, Shoreview, North Oaks and Lino Lakes.”

An Xcel Energy spokesperson said the crash affected more than just traffic lights — it cut power to homes, businesses and even the Lake Johanna Fire Department. 

According to the police report, deputies responded to the scene of the crash around 4 p.m., after a 51-year-old man drove his work vehicle into the pole.

While investigating the crash, deputies found prescription medications in the man’s vehicle and found he was wearing fentanyl patches, which he said were for back pain. Fentanyl is a powerful opioid pain killer which is frequently linked to overdoses.

In the report, the man alleged that “something happened to his steering,” causing his vehicle to veer off the road, however, deputies performed field sobriety tests and found that the man was impaired.

The man, who remains unidentified due to further pending charges, was arrested for DWI.

In addition to police and crews from Xcel Energy, the public works departments of Shoreview and Ramsey County worked to set up temporary stop signs to aid during the evening traffic. 

Power was restored that night.


— Jesse Poole


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