Assinniboine Station issue causes Hi-Line power outage


November 8, 2013

NorthWestern Energy had a wiring issue that put a large area of Montana into the dark Thursday.

“It was some sort of a wiring issue at the Fort Assinniboine Station,” said Butch Larcombe, a spokesman for NorthWestern Energy.

“It’s an unusual occurrence,” he added.

Larcombe said the wiring issue took place in a 161-kilovolt line and due to the large size of the line, a large area was out of power for roughly 45 minutes.

The blackout spread from Chinook to Chester and went quite a way down toward Great Falls, Larcombe said.

The blackout started around 11 a.m. Thursday and lasted around 45 minutes until crews could repair the wiring problem at the Fort Assinniboine Station.

The last major outage caused by problems at the Fort Assinniboine station was Feb. 8, 2012. The power was out for much of the morning and afternoon. The cause of this outage was unknown; Larcombe said at the time it was simply equipment failure.


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