Power still out for hundreds along Montana Hi-Line - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Power still out for hundreds along Montana Hi-Line

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BILLINGS - Nearly one week since the season's first winter snowstorm buried part of Montana's Hi-Line with two feet of snow, 265 customers remain without power.

NorthWestern Energy spokesman Butch Larcombe said Monday those still without service are scattered from Havre and east to Malta. The largest concentration of those without power are in Chinook, Zurich, Harlem, Fort Belknap, Savoy, Dodson and Wagner areas.

Larcombe said many without service are not homes, but rather irrigation pumps, corrals, and other electric users who are a lower priority.

The biggest impact from the storm was the 360 power poles that snapped under the weight of the snow.  Larcombe said 190 poles have been repaired, but crews still have about 170 to go.

Larcombe said repairing and replacing the power poles is time-consuming work because crews essentially repairing and replacing significant chunks of NorthWestern's electrical system that serves the largely rural area.

Larcombe thanked NorthWestern's Hi-Line customers for their patience and understanding.

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