NewsMontana and Regional News


A frog sparked power outages across Lake County

The frog blew the breaker on the NorthWestern Energy substation.
File photo of a frog
Posted at 9:26 AM, Oct 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-10 11:40:43-04

MISSOULA — The lights went out in Lake County on Wednesday afternoon due to a surprise visit from a frog.

Mission Valley Power reports on their Facebook page that a frog blew the breaker on the NorthWestern Energy substation.

The incident caused outages from Ronan to Pablo to Polson -- all across the southern end of Flathead Lake.

Lake County Sheriff Don Bell tells MTN News the lights flickered at the courthouse, but a backup generator put them back online.

Hospitals in the area were also on back up generators.

Stoplights were out as well as most businesses and homes across Lake County. Some businesses managed to stay open during the outage using "old school" methods.

The power was restored shortly before 4 p.m.

This isn't the first time a non-squirrel has triggered a power outage in Montana.

In 2017, a snake got snatched by a hawk in Black Eagle; both died after the snake smacked into a nearby power line as it was struggling to escape the bird's grasp. It caused a power outage and a fire that charred about 40 acres: