Crews from around the state are still in north-central Montana working on final restoration of power to the area.
“Power is expected to be restored to most homes by the end of the day (today), ”NorthWestern Energy spokesperson Claudia Rapkoch said this morning. “Some small outages may not be restored until Thursday. ”
A blizzard took out power in the area Monday, with service out as early as 8 a. m. in Big Sandy, Havre blacked out shortly after 10 a. m., and service from at least Rudyard through Fort Belknap was lost for different durations starting at different times of the day.
Power was restored to most of Havre by 4:30 p. m. Monday, with power restored to other parts of the region as time progressed, including Chinook having its power restored about 3 a. m. Tuesday.
Chinook's power was cut again Tuesday afternoon to allow for substation repairs.
Rapkoch said this morning that outages continue in rural areas in the Havre, Lohman, Chinook, Zurich, Harlem and Fort Belknap areas. NorthWestern Energy crews have been called in from across the state and are working on downed power lines in these areas, she added.
Hill County Electric spokesperson Denise Kovacich said this morning that the cooperative still had a few customers north of Chinook without power, waiting for downed power poles to be repaired.
She added that if any of the co-op's customers still are without power, they should notify Hill County Electric to be certain the company is aware of the problem.
Rapkoch said people need to watch for utility crews working with trucks and equipment alongside U. S. Highway 2 and other secondary highways and county roads, and to drive with caution when passing work sites.
“Stay away from low-hanging and downed power lines, ” she added. “Consider them potentially energized and dangerous. Continue to call in reports of burning, arcing or sparking wires and poles. ”