Crews work to restore power cut by spring storm

2010-04-30T06:45:00Z Crews work to restore power cut by spring stormGazette Staff The Billings Gazette
April 30, 2010 6:45 am  • 

NorthWestern Energy crews made progress overnight on power outages caused by a spring storm but numerous residents still remain without electricity in central Montana, a company spokeswoman said today.

After taking a mandatory rest, crews were mustering early this morning to resume repairs, said Claudia Rapkoch of NorthWestern Energy. An estimate on the number of people without power was not available.

Crews made progress in the Lewistown area but there are still outages, she said. "This kind of weather, you fix one problem and find three more,'' she said.

No new major problems were reported overnight, Rapkoch said. Most of the problems were scattered outages. The weather, driving conditions and access slowed progress, she said. "They are making progress but it's very slow going.''

The Fergus County Sheriff's department reported heavy snow in and around Lewistown had closed roads and that plows were heading out.

Meanwhile, strong winds and rain and snow flurries continued through the night in the Billings area but no major problems were reported.

The strongest wind gust of 59 mph was recorded overnight at Billings Logan International Airport while sustained winds were between 35 mph to 40 mph, said Bryan Schuknecht, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The airport also picked up about three-tenths of inch of precipitation and a trace of snow. Heavy snow was reported in the mountains, which are under a winter storm warning.

Winds and scattered showers will continue today and into Saturday but will not be as strong, Schuknecht said.

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