Flathead Electric Crews working to restore power in Montana cold snap
It's cold enough in your house with the power on. Imagine what it's like for a few hundred residents on the east side of Montana's Flathead Valley, where crews are responding to widespread outages that developed this morning.
Flathead Electric Cooperative reports the problems began around 7:40 this morning when the utility's power provider had to conduct an emergency shut-off. That impacted customers in the Lake Blaine, Echo Lake, Many Lakes, and Lower Valley areas east and south of Kalispell.
That was followed by other outages extended up the Swan Valley and past the lake which the utility says were not related to the emergency cut-off.
Flathead Electric says customers should "be aware that all hands are on deck and we are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power." Part of the problem stems from the high demand for power this morning, and the cold, which means the utility has to carefully re-energize the system in "chunks." That can help prevent a cascading effect which could lead to more widespread outages.
Flathead Electric says it knows the "situation is extremely concerning" with the power outages coupled with the subzero temperatures, and are asking residents for their patience. ky
While Kalispell didn't set a cold weather record for today during this morning's plunge in temperatures, it's still been very, very cold. At Glacier Park International Airport this morning the official low was as cold as -31, with the wind chill topping 40 below zero early today.