This outage was a highly unusual situation.
The November 2 storm brought us very heavy, wet, spring-like snow. Our electric system easily handles this kind of snow in the spring, when the trees are solidly frozen into the ground and there are no leaves remaining on them to interfere with lines. Last week, we were coming off one of the warmest Octobers on record, meaning trees were still laden with most of their leaves, and not frozen into the ground. This (thankfully rare) combination caused widespread tree damage across the greater Flathead Valley and resulted in an astonishing number of downed trees and power lines.