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Frog sparks power outages across Lake County

Posted: 2:20 PM, Oct 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-11 11:00:51-04
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RONAN — The lights went out in Lake County on Wednesday afternoon due to a surprise visit from a frog.

Mission Valley Power reports on their Facebook page a frog blew the breaker on the NorthWestern Energy substation.

The incident caused outages from Ronan to Pablo to Polson -- all across the southern end of Flathead Lake.

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell tells MTN News the lights flickered at the courthouse, but a backup generator put them back online. Area hospitals in the area were also on backup generators.

Stoplights were out and most businesses and homes across the county were also in the dark. Some businesses managed to stay open during the outage using "old school" methods.

The power was restored shortly before 4 p.m.

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UPDATE (3:45 p.m.) - All power has been restored.

According to Mission Valley Power's Facebook page, they are still monitoring the breakers to make sure they do not flip with the heavy instant load.

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UPDATE (2:59 p.m.) - NorthWestern Energy technician is en route to help with security to restore power to Lake County. Mission Valley Power reports a frog crossed the breaker, causing the safety devices to trip.

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UPDATE (2:33 p.m.) - Mission Valley Power reports on their Facebook page an animal has crossed a breaker and blew the breaker on the NorthWestern Energy substation.

Mission Valley Power reports on their Facebook page an animal has crossed a breaker and blew the breaker on the NorthWestern Energy substation.

MVP says they are working with NorthWestern Energy to restore so all systems can be restored.

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(first report)

Power outages have been reported across Lake county Wednesday afternoon.

According to Mission Valley Power outage map, outages are reported from Ronan to Polson on the southern end of Flathead Lake.

On the Mission Valley Power's Facebook page, they report it's not a MVP equipment issue, but rather a breaker failure relay on the Northwestern Energy side.

KPAX has reached to Lake county Sheriff's office and Mission Valley Power. Phone lines to Mission Valley Power were busy.

There is no ETA on when power will be restored. Mission Valley Power reported on their Facebook page that "all hands are on deck" and they are working to get power restored.

KPAX anchor Jill Valley tells us stores in Polson are without power. Also stoplights are not working.

We expect to have an update later this afternoon.