Tim Leeds Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Much of the electricity in Havre flickered or went out in some places for a number of hours when a tractor took out a power pole on the north side of Havre Tuesday afternoon. Claudia Rapkoch, NorthWestern Energy director of communications, said the tractor took out a structure that held both distribution lines, which send power to residences and other structures, and a transmission line which sends power to NorthWestern’s east end substation. That led to power outages in most of east Havre and in North Havre, affecting about 2,000 NorthWestern customers, she said. Power was restored to most areas within an hour, Rapkoch said, although some parts of North Havre were without power until about 7:30 p.m. “We did some switching and were able to bring the east side substation back in about an hour,” she said. “ Most (places) were back in service by 2 o’clock and everybody was back in service by 7:30 p. m. “Everything now is back up and runing,” Rapkock added. Sheriff Greg Szudera said a call came in at 12:02 p.m. Tuesday in which the caller reported hitting a power pole on the north side of the railroad tracks, near a grain elevator by where the railroad tracks converge with the Milk River. The caller reported that there were no injuries, but power lines were down, Szudera said. A Hill County Sheriff’s deputy responded to assist the Montana Highway Patrol at the site. Highway Patrol Capt. Brad Sangray said the Patrol did respond to the scene, but is still investigating the incident and could not comment on details. The incident may have happened on private land, he added. No information about the driver of the tractor, which was Apparently pulling farm equipment, was available this morning. The Havre Department of Public Works reports that it received some calls from around the city, with some people apparently having just a momentary power outage, others going hours without electricity. The power at City Hall was out for just a moment, a representative of the department said. The power was out for about a half hour at Havre High School, teachers said, and lights were still out in North Havre at 6 p.m. No street lights, Christmas lights or house lights seemed to be on at that time. Rapkoch said NorthWestern will now conduct an investigation of the incident. While the driver of the tractor could be held liable for damages, that depends on what the investigation uncoveres, she said. “We were just glad that nobody was hurt,” Rapkoch said.