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Power outages from storm dwindle as crews work into Thursday night

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BEMIDJI - As the Bemidji area continued to clean up from Monday night's severe storm, the northern part of Beltrami County was hit by a similar storm.

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At about 1 p.m. Wednesday, a storm carrying 60 mph straight-line winds hit the western edge of Bemidji and extended north toward Waskish, Kelliher, Blackduck and Turtle River, Jeff Makowski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D., said.

Trees were down and uprooted in those areas in northern Beltrami County, Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said.

"There were also pockets of power lines down up there and some hail damage north of Kelliher," Hodapp said. "There was also some wind damage on the west side of Bemidji."

Hodapp said there had been no reported injuries from this second storm.

As for the damage from Monday night's storms, power company crews continued to restore power to the city Thursday.

As of 5:45 p.m. Thursday, Beltrami Electric had less than 1,300 customers without power. About 700 were from Monday night's storm, while 700 were from Wednesday's storm, Mitch Raile, Beltrami Electric's spokesman, said.

"Crews were able to make substantial progress and will be working into the evening again," he said. "Today, crews from Itasca-Mantrap, Wild Rice Electric, Clearwater-Polk, Roseau Electric and Todd-Wadena Cooperatives were here to help out."

Raile said the company hoped to have power completely restored in the southern part of the county by the end of Thursday - nearly 4,100 were affected by the area's first storm - and warned that customers in the northern part may have to wait until today for power to be restored from the second storm.

Otter Tail Power didn't provide details Thursday about customer outages. The company had about 4,400 reported outages Monday and less than 200 customers in Bemidji and Cass Lake were without power as of early Wednesday evening.

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