Strong winds and heavy snow from the March 29 winter storm had a significant impact on the distribution system of East Central Energy. More than 90 broken power poles left over 7,000 members without power. Areas hardest hit were Mille Lacs and Benton counties.
Outages started coming in around 1 a.m. Sunday. Twelve hours later the number of affected members had been reduced to 2,600. At 8 a.m. Monday the count was down to fewer than 600, with the expectation that all members would be restored by the end of the day.