(St. Paul, MN) – Governor Tim Walz has signed a peacetime state of emergency to provide resources to counties hit hard by Thursday’s weather punch.

The declaration allows the Minnesota National Guard to provide emergency aid, including search and rescue, to 64 counties and three tribal nations.

The April blizzard dumped wet snow mixed with Texas dust on the southern region of the state.  Combined with gusty winds reaching speeds of up to 55 miles per hour, the storm snapped power poles and brought down lines, leaving thousands without power.   Several counties opened emergency warming shelters for residents without power and stranded motorists.

Just before 5 p.m. last night, BENCO Electric Co-operative announced that over 3,600 customers were still experiencing outages, while Xcel Energy reported that over 8,000 people were without power as of 4 a.m. Friday.

The storm has fizzled out, but winds are expected to remain gusty, and periods of rain and light snow are expected throughout the evening.

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