Monticello residents near the Mississippi River were dealt a cold truth (pardon the pun) on Thursday, Feb. 24, when a power transformer exploded and cut energy flow to hundreds of customers around 12:15 p.m.
CentraCare Hospital relied on generator power in patient areas but other medical facilities on the complex, including Stellis Health’s Monticello Clinic, were forced to cancel appointments and close for the day.
Businesses along the Broadway corridor, including Von Hanson’s and Kwik Trip on the east end, were without power after witnesses heard a loud “bang” or “explosion.” Transformers, which contain large amounts of oil, can overheat and explode – an episode occurred in Monticello around this time last year.
Temperatures on Thursday around noon were 5 to 10 degrees below zero.
Xcel had most customers back online prior to 2 p.m.