Flathead Electric Co-Op Linemen work countless hours to restore power

Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 16:19:04-04

KALISPELL — Thousands of people lost power during this past weekend’s storm, especially along Flathead Lake in Lake County.

Fortunately, power has been restored, and that’s thanks to the hard work of several power linemen.

Zane Lindsay is one of many linemen with Flathead Electric Cooperative who worked tirelessly to restore power after the storm knocked down trees and cut down power lines.

“You never know what you’re going to get into until you actually get out there and start working,” Lindsay said.

When more than 1,500 people lose power, lineman Chad Rauthe says he needs to be ready at a moment’s notice.

“You’re trying to get the line up because the tree knocked it down and you’ve got the trees bending over because the winds so bad,” Rauthe said. “You’re kind of like, ‘Yeah, I hope we don’t get another one down while we’re putting this up.’”

Linemen like Travis Tennison are always in danger while working under such harsh conditions. That’s why crews always work together in teams of two or four to look out for on another.

“Everyone is always working on their own little thing and when we need help, someone’s always there,” Tennison said.

Restoring power to people’s homes means something different for each lineman, but for Lindsay, it feels extra special to him knowing he’s helping his fellow neighbors.

“The power outage not only affects myself, but it affects other people and how they can do their day to day lives,” Lindsay said. “So, it is (an) important deal that we need to take care of, and that’s the job that we signed up for to do.”

Although power has been restored, the linemen aren’t done yet. Some damaged poles from the storm still need to be replaced.