(UPDATE) Power has been out for some people for several hours, and other residents report intermittent flickering. We have also received reports of at least two transformers that have caught fire.
Several power outages were reported in Cascade County around 7 p.m. on Saturday, as a dangerous winter storm moved in to north-central Montana.
Several people have asked whether the Calumet refinery in Great Falls is on fire - it is not. A reporter drove by at about 9:40 p.m. and there are no signs of any fire or emergency. The usual flame does appear larger and brighter than usual, likely due to the fog and weather.
(1st REPORT) NorthWestern Energy said in a tweet they are aware of the outage in the Great Falls and Vaughn area and a service team is en route to restore power as soon as possible. A viewer reported an outage in Sun Prairie as well.
NorthWestern Energy's outage map said that at least 1,100 people in Great Falls have been affected by the outage, which had an estimated repair time of 10:30 p.m.
The outage comes as a Blizzard Warning is in effect from 2 p.m. on Saturday through 6 a.m. on Monday. For a storm to technically be a blizzard it needs to have sustained wind of 35 miles per hour or greater, visibility of a quarter of a mile or less, and sustain these conditions for at least three hours. On Saturday night, a spotter south of Ulm reported about 2 inches of snow just in the first hour of the storm.
The Montana Department of Transportation is reporting dangerous road conditions in the area and says to travel cautiously.
We will update you when we learn more.
WINTER WEATHER RESOURCES: