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Thursday morning power outage affected Rainbow Senior Living

Posted: 5:48 PM, Feb 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-02-07 19:48:19-05

A portion of Great Falls did not have power for about five hours Thursday morning.

Rainbow Senior Living staff said part of their building lost power around 6:30 a.m.

Executive Director Dena Schoolcraft said they called NorthWestern Energy and learned there were some power issues in the area.

Schoolcraft said they had one resident get stuck in the elevator, but help quickly arrived and the resident was soon out.

She said they lost full power around 8 a.m. and their generator did not turn on due to the batteries being dead. The batteries were soon replaced and the generator was up and running.

“Heat is our biggest concern in the winter time. Making sure our residents stay warm,” Schoolcraft said.

Schoolcraft added they have gas stoves so they can make food and hot drinks for their residents. They are on a boiler system so they are unable to heat the building without electricity.

“Switching them over to the oxygen units that they need to be on. If they are on concentrators, those are electrical, we need to get them over to their other tanks,” Merry Coats, Assistant Living Director, said.

When the power is out, the pendent system is also down so residents cannot contact caretakers.

Schoolcraft said they had a caretaker on each floor checking on residents every 15 minutes.

The power was restored at Rainbow Senior Living around 12:30 p.m.


(1st Report, 9:46 a.m.) A power outage has been reported around downtown Great Falls and is affecting many businesses.

Around 150 customers are affected, according to NorthWestern Energy.

The utility company estimates the power should be repaired by 11:30 a.m. There is no word yet on the cause of the outages.

The History Museum announced it will be closed Thursday due to the “unexpected power outage.”

Other establishments without power include Rainbow Senior Living, Electric City Coffee, Feather Your Nest, and more along Central Avenue.

Staff at Rainbow Senior Living said the power went out at about 6:30 a.m. The home has around 60 residents and some reported hearing what sounded like a transformer blowing up.

In Havre early Thursday morning, a downed power line was reported that affected over 1,000 customers, according to NorthWestern Energy.

“Customers” refers to a business or a residence so the number of people without electricity can be higher than the figure reported.