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NorthWestern Energy Sends Crews to Help with California Storms

Feb 20, 2017

Butte, Mont. – February 20, 2017 – Utility crews from NorthWestern Energy hit the road Monday, headed to California to assist with power outages and other storm-related issues.

NorthWestern sent 37 employees from across its Montana service territory to assist in the storm repair. The group includes journeyman linemen, apprentice linemen and groundmen, plus supervisors and a mechanic.

The group includes workers from Butte, Bozeman, Billings, Missoula, Helena, Great Falls, Havre, Hamilton and Lewistown. The crews are expected to begin work in the Redding, CA, area on Wednesday morning.

Powerful storms in recent days have left thousands without power in the state. NorthWestern is a part of regional group of utilities that provides mutual-aid in neighboring areas after severe storms.

Sometimes Mother Nature sends us more than we can deal with and in times of need, we do depend on each other through mutual assistance to get customers back in service as quickly as possible,”  said Curt Pohl, vice president, Distribution at NorthWestern Energy. “In this case, PG&E has asked for our help in California and we are glad we are able to send help.”

In recent years, NorthWestern crews have been dispatched to the East Coast to help with Superstorm Sandy, helped restore power in western South Dakota after a blizzard and have also lent assistance after eastern Washington was hit by storms.

“We received the request for assistance from PG&E at 9:30 this morning,” noted Jason Merkel, NorthWestern’s general manager, Operations. ”By noon, the first of our supervisors and crews and were packed up and on the road to Redding, CA. It has always amazed me how responsive our employees are to our customers, and with this mutual-assistance activation, other utilities’ customers.”

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About NorthWestern Energy (NYSE: NWE)
NorthWestern Energy provides electricity and natural gas in the Upper Midwest and Northwest, serving approximately 701,000 customers in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska. More information on NorthWestern Energy is available on the company's website at

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Butch Larcombe
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