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Flathead area impacted by severe weather

Posted at 5:56 PM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-01 14:02:11-04

POLSON — Severe thunderstorms and high winds Sunday morning have left more than 30,000 people without power in the Flathead Lake area.

“It lasted maybe half an hour, 45 minutes. Heavy wind, heavy rainfall, heavy everything," said Whitefish resident Sandi Crow.

Crow says the 65 mile-per-hour winds had caused some damage to her area.

“There was a large tree down at the corner of Railway and Lundford and it looks like it took down the front end of a car," Crow said.

This wasn't the only damage she saw as she also witnessed winds blowing down a roof near newly-constructed apartment complexes. Crow said that this storm reminded her of living in eastern Montana, saying she lived on that side of the state for a few years and saw weather similar to Sunday.

In Polson the damage was just as extensive.

“Sure enough we got a fire call right away, trees on power lines, trees on cars, trees on houses," Finley Point fire chief Brent Burland said.

Burland said that the damages from most areas were from tree clearings.

“People need to realize that if you have any tree cleared areas it weakens the trees that are left," Burland said.

Burland said that he wasn't personally impacted but his team of firefighters were all called out to help assess the damage. Burland wanted to make areas of the downed power lines safe for the public.

“Our main concern was clearing the roadways so people could get in or out if they had too," he said.

Finley Point Fire was joined by agencies such as Mission Valley Power, King's Point, Rocky Point and Big Arm fire crews.

Burland also wanted to remind the public to stay away from power lines, and to not drive over them.