HAVRE – On Thursday, NorthWestern Energy said they had restored power for nearly all of the customers affected by the major snowstorm that hit last week, but the company now faces another issue- the cost of the damage.
NorthWestern Energy estimates damage from the early October snowstorm could top $2 million.
The snowstorm that hit the Hi-Line on Oct. 2 and 3 brought down around 400 power poles and left around 9,500 customers without power.
For some rural areas east of Havre it took more than a week to restore electricity. NorthWestern had to bring crews from around the state. The company said more than 100 crew members helped with restoration efforts.
Northwestern estimated around 2,000 power poles have been restored.
The company has already spent about $1.7 million on restoration and repairs, that figure is expected to climb.
The company restored nearly all of its customers’ electricity, however, they say some non-essential lines, including irrigation pumps, may not be restored until spring. In a statement, the company said there is still a large task of cleaning up storm-damaged poles and materials and that they will work with affected landowners in the coming weeks.
Vice President of Distribution Chris Pohl said the storm was the most significant weather related event in Montana in many, many years.