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Northwestern Energy Scrambling To Restore Power To Missoula Neighborhoods

Northwestern Energy has restored power to thousands  more Missoulians in the past 24 hours, but thousands more are still without electricity after Monday’s powerful storm.

Northwestern Energy spokesman Butch Larcombe asks those still without service in Missoula’s Linda Vista and Miller Creek neighborhoods to be patient for a little while longer.

"The majority of those folks up there – it’s probably going to be 1,500 or 1,800 households -  if they don’t have power now, they’re probably not going to be back in service until at least late tomorrow night."

Larcombe says the local power poles that were damaged or destroyed Monday evening are larger than normal. Northwestern had some replacements in stock, but had to turn to Canada for more.

"And so they’re going to get the poles there and then they’ll get the equipment on them. They’ll get them in the ground and then they’ll string them with connector wire and hopefully thereafter get the power flowing again."

Northwestern estimates roughly 1,800 Missoulians outside of the Miller Creek/Linda Vista neighborhoods still without power should have it restored by the end of today.

Larcombe says this is easily one of the company’s biggest crisis responses in years.

"I’ve worked for the company for three years and this is the largest scale outage that I’ve dealt with by quite a bit."

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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