Montana: Power failure hits Gallatin County : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Power failure hits Gallatin County

BOZEMAN (AP)  A power failure left most of Gallatin County dark for part of the evening Tuesday.

Lights flickered and then failed shortly before 7 p.m. for 10,000 customers of Montana Power Co., after a switch failed at a power station north of Interstate 90.

Except for Three Forks, Manhattan, and Big Sky, most of Gallatin County was without power, Montana Power spokesman Randy Sullivan said.

The blown switch caused a surge of power at the station, and the result was a chain reaction that knocked out power across the county, Sullivan said.

Within 20 minutes, electrical service resumed at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital and at homes in east Bozeman. Montana Power crews had to turn the power back on slowly to avoid a surge that could have caused another outage.

Parts of Montana State University remained without power some 21/2 hours after the lights went out.

At the hospitals emergency room, work took place under the full power of generators. Other rooms in the hospital had partial light. No patients were undergoing surgery when the outage hit.

Alarms automatically tripped by the outage at the Museum of the Rockies and the Gallatin Valley Mall had firefighters racing across town, said Mark Criner of the Bozeman Fire Department.

The city-county center that handles 911 emergency calls reported no traffic accidents related to interruption of traffic lights at intersections.

-- Martin Thompson (, September 13, 2000

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