Snow Storm Cuts Power to Thousands in Northwest MontanaA storm that rolled through northwest Montana brought enough snow and strong winds to cut power to thousands of people Monday morning, October 10th.
“We recieved an outage call around 3:00 a.m,” Flathead Electric Coop Public Relations Officer Wendy Ostrom-Price said. “People were reporting outages and we have a couple poles down. We mainly have trees down, we had very heavy, wet snow and that settles on the lines it snaps them, it also takes down trees because they are not frozen in the ground yet.”
Price said around 1,400 people were still without power by noon on Monday, and that all Flathead Electric Coop personnel were working hard to restore power to the region. Price explains how wide the outage was at its peak.
“Approximately 4,000 members have been impacted throughout, we’ve had a total of 34 outages,” Ostrom-Price said. “They vary in size across the service territory, some bigger than others… a nasty little blizzard blew in here.”
4,000 homes without power is significant, but it is a relatively small number of the 63,000 homes that receive power through Flathead Electric Coop.
Snowstorm Hits Northwest Montana, Closes Glacier’s Sun Road at Apgar
Two to 5 inches of snow expected in the valley and upwards of one foot in backcountry elevationsMonday morning met Flathead Valley residents with the first fresh snow of the year, leaving some residents in the dark while outside was blanketed in white.
A weekend of rain transitioned into an overnight snowstorm in Northwest Montana, giving residents the first real taste of winter and closing Going-to-the-Sun Road at the foot of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.
The region is under a winter weather warning through Tuesday morning amid persistent cold temperatures, precipitation and high winds, according to the National Weather Service. Snow accumulations of 2 to 5 inches are expected in the valleys with upwards of one foot or more in the higher elevations of the backcountry. Slick driving conditions were reported across the Flathead Valley. Gusts of wind reaching 35 mph were reported on Flathead Lake.
The National Park Service said initial reports were that nearly a foot of snow had fallen on the east side of the park and a few inches on the west side by Monday morning.
The winter weather forced the closure of the Sun Road near Apgar.
The Inside North Fork Road is currently closed at the Polebridge Ranger State Main Gate and Fish Creek. The southern end of the road is open to Camas Creek, approximately 6.5 miles north of the Fish Creek junction.
The Camas Road is closed at McDonald Creek and the Camas/North Fork entrance due to the weather. The Chief Mountain Road, Many Glacier Road and Two Medicine Road remain open.
Snowstorm leaves thousands in Flathead without power
As many as 3,500 valley residents were without power Monday morning as a wet and heavy snow, and gusty winds felled a some power poles and trees fell across power lines, Flathead Electric Cooperative Public Relations Officer Wendy Ostrom Price said.
“We’ve got outages of varying sizes scattered across our service territory,” Ostrom Price said. “We’ve got downed lines, downed poles, trees on lines. We have a heavily-wooded service territory for the most part; it’s across the whole of our territory.”
Ostrom Price said the first outage call came at 3 a.m. Monday from the 30-mile stretch between West Glacier and Essex, where snowfall has caused the most outages. According to the cooperative’s online outage map, at noon Monday that area had between 200 and 499 members without power. Dozens of other outages were reported in the north valley area.
While Ostrom Price said the height of Monday’s outages reached 3,500, by noon crews had restored power to more than half, while about 1,427 members were still without power.
The snowfall-induced restrictions also reached Glacier National Park, which temporarily closed Going-to-the-Sun Road between Lake McDonald and St. Mary due to weather. According to the park service website, the Sun Road is open for about 2 miles on the west side and one mile on the east side.
Ostrom Price said although outages are being resolved, more may be reported as the storm continues. She said crews will be working throughout the day to alleviate outages.
| Gewijzigd: 30 januari, 13:17 uur, door Joyce.s