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Widespread power outage reported in northwestern Montana

Widespread power outage reported in northwestern Montana
Widespread power outage reported in northwestern Montana
Posted at 5:37 PM, May 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-31 19:37:27-04

(UPDATE: 5/31/20, 5:30 PM): According to the Flathead Electric Co-Op outage map, 23,679 members are still begin affected as a result of the Sunday morning storms.

The map says 19,048 members are still without power. Areas like Kalispell, Lakeside, Whitefish and Columbia Falls are still heavily affected, among many others.

Here is a gallery of photos submitted by those affected by the storms to showcase its impact.

(UPDATE: 5/31/20): Flathead Electric Co-Op has sent out an updated message on the current power outage across northwest Montana.

"This is one of the worst storms our area has seen in years," the statement that was posted on the website at 11:30 a.m. said. "We sustained significant damage to our system. At the peak, we were reporting nearly 37,000 members out of power. That’s over half of the members we serve. Appleway and Four Mile have been restored. We currently have over 200 outages and 31,600 members out of power across the entire 5,000 miles of line on our system.

"All crews are responding, but that’s a lot of ground to cover. The main goal is to restore power safely to the greatest number of members in the shortest time possible. The bulk of those members power will be restored today, but we anticipate the restoration process in some areas could take our crews days. We thank our members in advance for their patience as we work through the damage caused by this storm to restore power as quickly and safely as possible."

Flathead Electric Co-Op also reminds everyone to steer clear of downed power lines and assume all are still hot and never assume it is not. Never touch a downed power line and report any you see to 911.

According to the outage map , 33,202 members are still affected while 31,208 are currently out of power at the moment.

The outage in Lolo has been almost completely fixed. The outage map is also reporting that the number of outages has dropped to 25.

(ORIGINAL, 9:50 AM, 5/31/20): A severe Sunday morning storm has caused widespread damage and power outages across northwestern Montana.

Flathead Electric Co-Op issued a statement on Sunday morning addressing the outages, saying "A major windstorm swept through the area causing widespread damage and power outages across our service territory. Crews are responding, but until the winds die down, we won’t be able to fully analyze the damage to our system. We ask that members please bear with us as we work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible."

According to the outage map for Flathead Electric Co-Op, multiple towns across northwestern Montana were affected from Kalispell, to Columbia Falls, to the top half around Flathead Lake and more. The outage map is reporting 37,228 members have been affected and are out of power.

"If you are experiencing a power outage, please report it by calling our outage line at 406-751-4449. (You’ll be transferred into our automated system so we can assess outages most quickly. During large outage situations we do not answer calls on this line because we are communicating with crews and emergency responders," Flathead Electric also wrote.

Mission Valley Power, which is located in Pablo, also addressed the incident saying, "WOW, What a Sunday morning storm! Crews are out, we are out until all outages can be safely restored, its gonna be a busy day," in a post on Facebook.

In southwest Montana, Missoula Electric Co-Op power outage is reporting that 1,033 members in the Lolo area are out of power as well after strong winds affected the area. According to a Facebook post from the power company, it is believed a tree fell on a power line.