Nov. 27 Power Outage Updates

High sustained winds since 3:30 a.m. are causing trees to fall into power lines and other significant damage to electrical equipment. We are experiencing outages across our service territory. Crews are responding, but progress in some areas will be slow and there may be additional outages until the winds die down. Please bear with us as we work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.

During this time, updates to the outage map may be delayed as our dispatch center prioritizes emergency situations and crew assignments. However, as we receive information, updates will be posted here. Please check back.

11/29, 11:36 a.m. UPDATE — Power has been restored to over 95% of members who lost it during the wind storm. Our crews have continued to work around the clock. In many cases they are only able to pick up a few meters at a time, but we are still making progress. 33 meters were just energized in the Echo lake area, and they are still working there. There are multiple lines down on the North side of the lake. Another crew is working on a pole replacement in the Shady Lane area and hope to have that done in the next few hours so they can tackle any remaining outages there. We understand that this has been very difficult and ask for your continued patience. We will keep working until power is restored.

11/28, 10:50 a.m. UPDATE — Power has been restored to 85% of members who lost it during yesterday’s storm, and crews are still working hard — many of them for well over 24 hours straight at this point. We are bringing in some additional outside help this morning to continue the cleanup work. We are hitting the remaining areas as hard as we can, but unfortunately, we anticipate that it will probably take most of the day and into the night to get everyone back on. Power is being restored in small pockets, and progress is slow, but it is there.

We would like to wish our members a Happy Thanksgiving! We understand and empathize with the inconveniences power outages cause, especially during a holiday. We thank you for your continued patience, and extend our gratitude to the line crews working in the field

10:02 P.M. UPDATE— At this point, power has been restored to 70% of members who lost it during the storm. It hasn’t been easy. In some areas, it’s taken crews 12 or more straight hours of cutting and moving downed trees just to access the areas that need repairs. In other areas, crews are continuing to work through the mess. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we are grateful to both the crews who are fighting the elements through the night and to our members for their patience during this process. We know it’s not an easy situation for anyone.

5:44 P.M. UPDATE — Crews have made a lot of progress, but the wind damage in our area was significant and cleanup continues to be a challenge. Crews are all out working though bitterly cold and windy conditions to get power restored safely. Although it’s difficult to make predictions on restoration time, we are doing our best to keep you updated as we know you may need to make alternate plans.

These are the areas we hope to have back up tonight (by midnight or earlier):

  • McCaffery Rd
  • Swan Hill Rd
  • Eastman Drive
  • South Ferndale

These areas have much more difficult repairs, and we anticipate that restoring power could take us until well into the night and even tomorrow.

  • Red Owl
  • Halverson Driver
  • Shady Lane (Ferndale)
  • Echo Lake Road, including Alpine Drive, Echo Cabin Loop, LaBrant Rd, Blackies Bay, Fireman’s Island
  • Black Bear Lane
  • North Ferndale

Hear the latest update from FEC Assistant General Manager Jason Williams:

1:16 p.m. — URGENT — NEVER ATTEMPT TO REMOVE TREES FROM POWER LINES! We have received reports that people are attempting to remove trees from lines on their own. Some of these lines are still energized. This could be life threatening. We understand that this storm has caused inconveniences, but the safety of our members and our crews is the top priority. Wait for a professional to do this dangerous work. We will be there as soon as we can.

9:47 a.m. — FEC crews are currently working in Columbia Falls, Echo Lake and down the Swan (Hwy 83). Fallen trees, broken poles, and continued winds are making the restoration process a challenge. We have all hands on deck working to restore power and keep you updated. The National Weather Service High Winds Warning remains in effect until 11 p.m. this evening with predicted gusts of up to 50 mph. Although we are making progress, we anticipate additional outages in our area until the high winds subside.

East Shore – Mostly Restored

  • 5:45 — the main line has been repaired and most power in the area is restored. There are a few outstanding smaller outages. Our crew is still in the area working on those.
    4:27 p.m. — crews have made repairs where a large tree came down across the highway and hope to have some power restored to the area soon.
    1:16 p.m. — One crew is working in the area now with another on the way to assist.
  • A crew has been assigned to assess outages in this area.

Hwy 83 – Swan Lake, Echo Lake and Ferndale Areas – PARTIALLY RESTORED

  • 10:16 p.m. — We hope to have South Ferndale and Eastman Drive up later tonight (midnight or earlier). Some areas of North Ferndale, along Hwy 83, and in the Echo Lake area will likely remain without power until tomorrow due to time consuming repairs and difficult access issues (see the updates at the top of this page for additional details).
    1:14 p.m. — We are making progress, and have been able to restore some power in this area, but it is slow with so many trees down. Additional help and contract crews have been called in to the area. We are all hands on deck to get this area cleaned up as quickly as possible so power can be safely restored. Thank you for your continued patience.
  • 12:55 p.m. — Swan Lake area has been partially restored.
  • 11:00 a.m. — There is a tree blocking the road on South Ferndale Dr.
  • 8:41 a.m. — Hwy 83 has been hit extremely hard. We are receiving multiple reports of broken poles and cross arms. We don’t know the extent of the damage yet due to the high winds that still exists.
  • Crews are assigned to these outages and are working to restore power. Progress is slow as they work through sustained winds and difficult conditions.

Lake Blaine – RESTORED

  • Power has been restored.
    Power was restored to this area earlier this afternoon, however we are experiencing another outage on the east side of the lake. We will get a crew back to the area as soon as possible.
  • 11:45 a.m. Crews are onsite making repairs to the system.

 

MT 206 South of Columbia Falls – RESTORED

  • Power has been restored.
  • 11:00 a.m. — Repairs are nearly complete and power should be restored soon.
  • 9:00 a.m. — Power has been partially restored in this area.
  • A crew is assigned to this outage and working to restore power.

Meadow Lake area North of Columbia Falls – RESTORED

  • Power has been restored.
  • 10:06 a.m. — Crews removed tree branches from the power lines, and power has been restored.
  • 9:49 a.m. — A crew is in the areas working to restore power.

South of Kalispell – RESTORED

  • 9:00 a.m. — Power has been restored.
  • 7:56 a.m. — There is a large outage on the south end of Kalispell impacting many businesses. A crew is onsite assessing the issue. We are hoping to isolate the issue once found and get most of the businesses back on quickly.

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