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A section of Main Street in the Billings Heights was without power Thursday
A section of Main Street in the Billings Heights was without power Thursday, April 7, 2011 causing black-out driving conditions. The outage left 2,200 customers, both business and residential, without power.

More than 2,000 Northwestern Energy customers in the Heights spent about 90 minutes without power on Thursday night after rain caused a power pole to burn in the area.

NorthWestern Energy spokesman Tom Glanzer said the outage happened at about 7 p.m. It left 2,200 customers, both business and residential, without power until 8:25 p.m.

The outage happened when rains that swept through town Thursday night caused an arrester to fail, which in turn burned the pole.

"That took out the feeder line that feeds the Billings Heights area," Glanzer said.

There's usually a backup feed for the line, but NorthWestern crews have been in the process of updating equipment in the area so it wasn't available, he said.

A NorthWestern crew and truck spent part of the evening in the lower level of the MetraPark parking lot near the Montana Pavilion working to restore power.

The lights remained on inside of Rimrock Auto Arena, where crews are setting up for Saturday's Women of Faith event and an Elton John concert on Sunday.

"Everything for the arena itself is fine," MetraPark General Manager Bill Dutcher said shortly before power was restored.

It wasn't immediately clear if the arena is on a separate circuit or if it was using a backup generator.

At 7:30 p.m. the only lights on much of Main Street were those of cars' head and tail lights.

The outage extended up a long stretch of Main from its intersection with Fourth Avenue North. The traffic lights at the intersections of Airport Road and Lake Elmo Road were working. However, everything north of there on Main, and the businesses lining it, remained dark until Wicks Lane.

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