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Power restoration efforts continue in Northwest Montana

Some people may be without power until the weekend
FEC Power Outage
Posted at 10:40 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 12:42:54-04

KALISPELL - Crews are continuing to work on restoring power to thousands of people in Northwest Montana.

Flathead Electric Cooperative (FEC) crews, and mutual aid and contract crews, worked through the night and repaired all transmission lines in the service area, restoring power to thousands of members.

However, FEC states in a news release that small outages — which typically impact 50 members or less — are continuing to occur.

"There are an incredibly high number of small outages, which are in some ways more time and labor-intensive to repair. This is an overwhelming outage situation that will take time to resolve. As crews work, trees are cracking and branches are falling. Crews are finding that they repair a power line and then more branches fall, taking the line down again," FEC notes in a news release.

Due to the number of outages, some of the small outages could continue into the weekend. Click here for the latest FEC power outage information.

FEC is advising that members who are part of a small outage and are not already prepared for an extended outage to prepare their homes, family, and animals.

Crews are working in the following areas on Thursday morning:

  • Kalispell – larger outages
  • Smith Lake and areas west of Kalispell – larger outages
  • Echo Lake – transmission restored, crews are working on spot outages
  • Whitefish – larger outages, west and south of Whitefish
  • West Valley – larger outages in the Farm-to Market and Rhodes Draw areas
  • Helena Flats, Reserve – larger outages
  • Patrick Creek/Rocky Cliff – crews had expected to restore power Wednesday night, but damage was more substantial than anticipated; restoration work continues today
  • Swan – most of this area is restored, but crews continue to work on smaller pockets

People who come across a power line that is sparking or on fire are being asked to immediately call 911 and should not touch or drive over the line.

Members who see a power line that is down or otherwise compromised but not causing a 911 situation should know the following:

  • If you have a tree on your service drop and your power is on, please be patient and prepare for a long outage, as trees on lines that are not otherwise causing issues are not the highest priority at this time.
  • If you have a tree on your service drop and your power is not on, you will need to be reconnected to the electric system by the Co-op.
    • In this situation, if f your power is not on and there is damage to your meter base or mast, you will need an electrician to repair that damage.

There were over 14,000 FEC members without power as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday with 227 separate outages being reported.