Great Falls power outage affected Rainbow Senior Living

Posted at 2:11 PM, Feb 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-08 18:00:00-05

GREAT FALLS – A portion of Great Falls did not have power for about five hours Thursday morning.

Rainbow Senior Living staff said part of their building lost power around 6:30 a.m.

Executive Director Dena Schoolcraft said they called NorthWestern Energy and learned there were some power issues in the area.

Schoolcraft said they had one resident get stuck in the elevator, but help quickly arrived and the resident was soon out.

She said they lost full power around 8 a.m. and their generator did not turn on due to the batteries being dead. The batteries were soon replaced and the generator was up and running.

“Heat is our biggest concern in the winter time. Making sure our residents stay warm,” Schoolcraft said.

Schoolcraft added they have gas stoves so they can make food and hot drinks for their residents. They are on a boiler system so they are unable to heat the building without electricity.

“Switching them over to the oxygen units that they need to be on. If they are on concentrators, those are electrical, we need to get them over to their other tanks,” Merry Coats, Assistant Living Director, said.

When the power is out, the pendent system is also down so residents cannot contact caretakers.

Schoolcraft said they had a caretaker on each floor checking on residents every 15 minutes.

The power was restored at Rainbow Senior Living around 12:30 p.m.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco for MTN News