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Cleanup continues after large Northwest Montana power outage

At one point 20,000 FEC customers were in the dark
Posted at 11:00 AM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 20:56:24-04

Crews are still working to get the lights back on in parts of Northwest Montana after a severe weekend storm.

Flathead Electric Co-op spokeswoman Wendy Ostrom Price says that at one point approximately 20,000 FEC members experienced a power outage over the weekend.

A storm caused trees to fall on power poles and lines, leading to outages across FEC’s service territory from Libby to the west, Whitefish to the north, and Swan Lake to the south.

Ostrom Price saws in a news release that the hardest hit areas were Bigfork, Ferndale, Somers, Lakeside, Many Lakes, Kalispell and Creston due to damage at the Echo and Lion Mountain Substations.

There are a few spot outages remaining Monday morning as crews work on clean up and further repairs to the system.

FEC also anticipates residual impacts from the storm with Ostrom Price noting that trees weakened by the storm can fall later, and sometimes power must be shut off to safely repair equipment.

Flathead Electric is aware of most outages, but people should still call to report them at (406) 751-4449. If the line is tied up due to the volume of calls, members will be transferred into FEC’s automated outage system where they can report outages or get updates.

FEC Members can also access current outage information and sign up to receive text alerts about outages.