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Crash causes power outage, troopers search for driver

Somebody knocked out power for a large part of Havre, Chinook and the area in between for more than an hour Thursday afternoon, and the Montana Highway Patrol is looking for them.

According to Claudia Rapkoch, spokesperson for NorthWestern Energy, a power pole near 1st Street North was knocked over just after noon Thursday.

Until power was restored at 1:10 p. m., about 3,400 customers in Havre, Chinook and Lohman were without power, including Havre High School and Sunnyside Intermediate School.

Superintendent Andy Carlson said the outage may have been unexpected and disruptive, but was put to good use, as school administrators were able to practice emergency procedures in case something more dire happened.

"It gave us a great opportunity to put into practice some of the things we were talking about, " Carlson said. "In the high school, it's hard to believe, there are some really dark spots in that building. "

Students in darker upstairs window-less science classrooms were moved to brighter bigger gathering places like cafeteria. He said Havre High School Principal Dennis Murphy was very pleased with how the staff responded to the outage.

"It was a nice little run for our folks to go through, " Carlson said.

The highway patrol crash report said a 4X4, "possibly green or black Jeep Wrangler, " hit a pole near "the 700 block of 1st Street North" on a "dirt road north of BNSF yard connecting" with the street.

The vehicle fled the scene.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to call Trooper Derek Stoner at 390-5154.


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