(UPDATE, 5:27 p.m.) NorthWestern Energy says the outage happened "after a piece of equipment outside a substation failed at about 2:50 p.m. Crews responded immediately and rerouted service to the 1,900 customers impacted by the outage, restoring service to customer by about 4 p.m."
(UPDATE, 4:51 p.m.) NorthWestern Energy spokesperson Jo Dee Black says that power has now been restored.
There is still no official word on the cause, although several people in Great Falls told KRTV that a transformer blew on 8th Street, which may have sparked the outage.
(1st REPORT) Thousands of people are without electricity in Great Falls due to a power outage.
We began receiving reports of the outage at about 2:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
NorthWestern Energy estimated that more than 1,900 customers - which includes homes and businesses - are affected, according to the company's outage map.
We have received several messages about it:
- Power is out all along 10th, traffic lights included from at least 15th to 26th so far I’ve seen
- power out on 9th st and 13th ave South area right now
- Apparently the mall and Morning Light Coffee area are affected.
- Power outage in sunnyside area.
- Job Service Great Falls, Prairie Mountain bank, and other businesses on 7th St., South are all without power.
- 10th ave is blacked out from 46th st down passed 9th st.
At this point, there is no word on the cause of the outage.
At 3:15 p.m., NorthWestern Energy posted: "We are experiencing an outage in the Great Falls area. We have a serviceman in route and will restore power as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience."
The utility company estimates that utility crews will have power restored by 6 p.m.
NOTE: if traffic signals are not working, intersections must be treated as FOUR-WAY STOPS.