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Air seeder knocks out power to 20


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Alice Campbell Havre Daily News [email protected]

Approximately 20 NorthWestern Energy customers along 1st Street lost power yesterday morning at 10:30 when a piece of farm equipment pulled down a phone line at 3rd Avenue West and 1st Street. The John Deere air seeder, about 19 feet high and being pulled by Moodie Implement Company westward to Rudyard, caught the line and pulled it down, said JR Tchida, service manager for Moodie. No damage happened to the piece of equipment. When the phone line, owned by Qwest Communications, came down, it disturbed the power service lines on the poles. "It did cause some damage to the poles that were right there where it hit," said NorthWestern's spokeswoman Claudia Rapkoch. Power was fully restored by 1 p.m., she said. The Qwest cable was old and had no communications traffic running Through it so there were no service outages for customers, Johanna Hoff, with Qwest's media relations for Montana, wrote in an e-mail. The cable was set to be removed this morning from where it was coiled at the base of the pole. Plans were already in place to remove the line, Hoff wrote, and it will not be replaced.


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