A massive power outage left Havre and much of the Hi-Line without electricity this morning to early afternoon.
A wide swath of territory from Glasgow to Chester and as far south as Big Sandy was affected by the outage, which was apparently caused by a malfunction at the Fort Assinniboine substation just outside of Havre.
While power was restored in Glasgow and Malta within a few minutes, power in Havre was out for almost five hours.
The power went out before 10 a.m., and full service was restored in Havre at 2:45 p.m.
This is the second time in just over a year that such a massive power failure affected the area.
An emergency generator kicked in at Northern Montana Hospital and at most area police stations.
In Havre, most businesses were at a standstill. Holiday Village Mall closed “for our customers safety,” a spokesman reported.
Power was not out in areas served by Hill County Electric Cooperative, though lights at Rocky Boy flickered at the time of the original outage.
Traffic lights were out throughout the city. While there was confusion among drivers, police reported few major problems.
All Havre schools were left without power, but school officials reported no problems.
The Havre Daily News was nearing its morning deadline when the power went out. News of the outage was reported on Twitter and Facebook. The paper will be delivered today, albeit later than usual.
The Fort Assinniboine substation failure led to a shutdown of a 161-kilivolt WAPA transmission line that serves much of the Hi-Line.
The cause of the failure remains unclear a NorthWestern spokesman said.
Full repairs to the Fort Assinniboine substation should be completed next week, they said.