WHITEFISH – The Flathead Valley was hit hard by strong winds on Tuesday with thousands of residents losing power.
Strong winds caused large branches and trees to fall into power lines causing outages stretching from Libby to Kalispell to Whitefish and all the way to Glacier National Park.
At one point over 100 outages that occurred caused over 13,000 people to lose power.
The stoplights leading into Whitefish along U.S. Highway 93 were out for over an hour and police had to direct traffic. The power came back on in Downtown Whitefish at around 6 p.m., some residential areas remained in the dark.
One Whitefish family had the entire top of a tree crash into their backyard and miss their house by about five feet.
“Of course, we stock up on food so we could lose a couple hundred dollars’ worth of food but that’s all replaceable as long as we’re all fine, but we are looking forward to having power back soon,” Jamie Adams said.
The Flathead Electric Cooperative was reporting that over 1,100 customers were still without power as of Wednesday morning including approximately 300 people along U.S. Highway 2 near Glacier National Park.
The weather also sparked a wildfire on Blacktail Mountain in Lakeside that grew to between 40 and 50 acres according to the Somers Lakeside Fire Department.
To stay updated on the status of the outages click here.
– Information from Jack Ginsburg and Mark Thorsell included in this report.