Update 11:19 a.m. 1/31/12: In an interview with Patch Thursday morning, an Xcel Energy spokesperson said Wednesday night's outage was caused by an underground cable, which failed around 6 p.m.
The spokesperson could not provide the specific technical reason the cable failed, but said that such failures—caused by everything from defects in cables to lightening strikes—do happen from time to time.
The outage ultimately impacted 4,250 Xcel Energy customers in St. Louis Park and Minneapolis. Power was restored to the last customer just after 8 p.m.
Original story: Correction: This story previously listed the incorrect day of the outages.
Wednesday night, more than 4,000 St. Louis Park residents were plunged into darkness.
According to Xcel Energy's power outage map, 4,253 customers were without power in an area centered near Methodist Hospital. An additional 221 customers were without power in an area near Beltline Boulevard.
The former cluster is expected to have its power back around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, while the latter cluster will likely have to wait until early Thursday morning.
Patch will update this story with more information as we receive it, including the causes of these outages.