Montana Public Radio

Flathead Electric Co-op

Screen capture from a National Weather Service video showing wind blowing snow off of Point Six mountain near Missoula at 10:30 a.m., January 13, 2021.
National Weather Service

Powerful winds whipped across the state Wednesday toppling trees, power poles and knocking out electricity to thousands of Montanans.

Anyone hiking Wednesday morning on Missoula’s Mount Sentinel, just east of the University of Montana got a lot more fresh air than they bargained for. 

School hallway.

Kalispell Public Schools will soon adopt a new mobile app allowing students to anonymously report tips about threats to a school, bullying and mental health issues to administrators and law enforcement.

Dennis Bane is a school resource officer at Flathead High School and with some help from students, he began testing incident reporting apps for the school district last year.

A Heli-Feller, a piece of equipment designed to cut and hold the tops off trees, allows helicopters to assist ground crews clearing the areas around power lines.
Rachel Cramer / Yellowstone Public Radio

As fire season starts to heat up in Montana, the threat of electrical power lines igniting dry forests is raising concerns. Power lines started the deadliest and most expensive fire in California history last November, the Camp Fire, which destroyed the town of Paradise and killed 85 people.

The threat of vegetation falling on Montana power lines has increased in recent years due to the rising number of beetle-killed trees.

Flathead Electric Co-op

The Flathead Electric Co-op is trying to recruit more members to enroll in one of their energy-saving rebate programs that helps the co-op save money. 

Electric vehicle charging station.
Flathead Electric Co-Op

The Flathead Electric Co-op Monday announced a new pilot program to bring electric vehicle charging stations to the Flathead Valley.

The Co-op installed the Valley’s first electric vehicle charging stations at its headquarters in Kalispell in 2015. Now it’s hoping to partner with a few local business to install about dozen more.

NorthWestern Energy is asking Montana lawmakers to back a bill that would allow them to bypass some oversight by state regulators.

A small company in Whitefish has won a major contract to restore power to Puerto Rico following widespread outages from Hurricane Maria. Nicky Ouellet reports there’s some confusion over why the Montana company was chosen.