2024 Montana Spring Snowstorm

From the evening of May 22, Wednesday, when a strong spring storm brought several inches of wet snow and heavy rain throughout southern Montana, until late in the evening May 23, Thursday, NorthWestern Energy crews restored service to more than 4,200 Montana customers affected by outages. The storm downed powerlines, trees, power poles and closed roads and sections of Interstate. 

Repairs, such as replacing broken power poles, and other cleanup work from the damage from this storm will continue today, Friday, May 24. Please give crews plenty of space to conduct their work safely. 

Our customers kindly extended expressions of support for our employees, in the field and other areas, as they waited while we worked in challenging conditions to restore service as soon as possible, safely. Thank you. 

UPDATE: 5:53 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Over the last 24 hours, NorthWestern Energy crews have restored service to more than 3,500 Montana customers affected by outages when the second spring storm this month brought heavy, wet snow that downed powerlines, trees, power poles and closed roads and sections of Interstate. Crews are now working to restore service to about 1,000 customers in Montana affected by about 80 outages and will continue that work into this evening. Repairs, such as replacing broken power poles, and other cleanup work from the damage from this storm, will continue Friday

Again, thank you to our customers who have generously cheered on our crews today. Conditions are challenging, and your kindness and consideration are appreciated as we work to restore your service as soon as possible, safely. 

UPDATE: 5:36 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Today, Bozeman and Livingston crews, along with personnel from Billings and a contract crew, restored service to hundreds of customers affected by outages that began after rain and heavy snow started falling last evening. Crews are working on repairs to restore service to about 165 customers in the Bozeman and Belgrade areas and about 60 in the Livingston and Big Timbers areas and will continue that work into this evening. 

Thank you to our customers who have generously cheered on our crews today. We appreciate your kind words as we work to restore your service as soon as possible, safely. 

Crews will be working in the Big Timber area Friday, repairing several power poles that were downed in the heavy snowfall. 

UPDATE: 5:15 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

In the last 24 hours, Missoula and Hamilton Division crews have restored service to more than 900 customers in the area affected by outages that began when rain and heavy, wet snow started falling last evening. Crews are working on repairs to restore service to about a dozen customers in the Missoula area and about 100 in the Bitterroot Valley and will continue that work into this evening. Thank you to our customers who have generously cheered on our crews today. We appreciate your kind words as we work to restore your service as soon as possible, safely. 

UPDATE: 2:49 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Helena Division crews continue work to respond to multiple outages, including in the westside Helena, Elliston and Toston areas, after damage from heavy, wet snow. Stay away from any downed or damaged power lines. Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely. 

UPDATE: 2:43 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Missoula and Hamilton Division crews continue work to respond to multiple outages in the Missoula and Bitterroot Valley areas, after damage from heavy, wet snow that began falling overnight. Stay away from any downed or damaged power lines. Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely.

UPDATE: 2:36 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Butte Division crews continue work to respond to multiple outages, including in the Phillipsburg, Drummond, Virginia City and Whitehall areas, after damage from heavy, wet snow. Stay away from any downed or damaged power lines. Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely.

UPDATE: 2:24 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Bozeman Division crews and a contract crew are working to restore service to outages in the Livingston, Bozeman, Belgrade, Harrison and Three Forks areas. Rain and snow are forecast to let up in the area and temperatures are expected to begin to rise into the 40s by early evening. Stay away from any downed or damaged power lines. Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely. 

UPDATE: 2:09 p.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Billings Division crews are working to restore service to outages in the area in conditions with very heavy rain. Stay away from any downed or damaged power lines. Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely. 

UPDATE: 10:34 a.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Butte Division crews are responding to multiple outages, including the Phillipsburg, Drummond and Whitehall areas in conditions with heavy, wet snow. Stay away from any downed or damaged power lines. Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely. 

UPDATE: 10:25 a.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Helena Division crews are responding to multiple outages, including in the Elliston, Avon and Toston areas in conditions with heavy, wet snow. Stay away from any downed or damaged power lines. Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely. 

UPDATE: 10:17 a.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Missoula Division crews are responding to multiple outages in the area in conditions with heavy, wet snow. Stay away from any downed or damaged power lines. Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely. 

UPDATE: 10:04 a.m., Thursday, May 23, 2024

Bozeman Division crews are responding to multiple outages in the area in conditions with heavy, wet snow. Stay away from any downed or damaged power lines. Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely. 

UPDATE: 7:15 a.m. May 23, 2024

wet, heavy spring snow on trees and powerlines

NorthWestern Energy crews are working in spring storm conditions, including heavy, wet snow, to restore power to customers affected by outages in southwest Montana. Extreme road conditions in areas in southwest Montana are challenging in some areas.

Crews are working to restore service as quickly as possible, safely.

Stay away from downed power lines

Coming into contact with a power line can be deadly. That's why it's important to assume that all power lines, whether in the air or on the ground, are energized.

Strong winds, ice and heavy snow can lead to downed power lines. If you see a downed or damaged power line, keep your distance and call 911 immediately. Never touch a power line or any object, including trees, that is in contact with a line.

  • Keep people, equipment and objects at least 35 feet away from down or low-hanging power lines.
  • Never attempt to remove a fallen tree or branch from a power line. You could be seriously injured or killed.
  • If a tree or branch does come in contact with a power line, keep yourself and others away from the tree and contact NorthWestern Energy.

Stay safe on the road

Find the latest road conditions in Montana.

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HOW WE RESTORE POWER DURING AN OUTAGE

During a widespread outage, we prioritize repairs to restore power to the largest number of customers possible, as quickly as possible while keeping everyone safe.

 

Learn More

WHAT TO DO DURING A POWER OUTAGE

Find tips on how to stay safe, keep food in your fridge and freezer safe, and more.

 

Learn More

NorthWestern Energy powers through May 7-8 Montana spring storm to keep the lights on

Heavy, wet snow and icing from last week’s central Montana spring storm made for challenging restoration on some of NorthWestern Energy’s most remote lines. Wind and trees knocked down 137 distribution poles and 13 transmission poles and left more than 30 miles of line on the ground.

The weather systems entered the state May 7- 8 from the south and west resulting in strong winds and heavy snow fall in the mountains and lower elevations in Central and Northcentral Montana. 

Power poles were damaged and downed and power lines broke after heavy ice and snow built up and by downed trees. 

Adding to an already challenging situation, the Bozeman Pass on Interstate 90 shutdown for almost 24 hours, stranding several employees that were caught for hours in the miles’ long line of vehicles that were stopped on the interstate.

U.S. Highway 89 that runs through Monarch and Neihart was also closed during the storm.

When the weather cleared, helicopters were used to assess the damage. Crews and equipment from across Montana were brought to the hardest-hit areas and contracted crews assisted with repairs. 

Customers, many without power for extended lengths of time, have generously expressed appreciation to NorthWestern Energy employees throughout the last 10 days. Thank you. 

NorthWestern Energy crews will continue to work to restore power to all our customers affected by outages caused by conditions from last week’s storm. 

Crews work to restore power after an outage caused by wet, heavy spring snow.
Crews work to restore power after an outage caused by wet, heavy spring snow.
Crews work to restore power after an outage caused by wet, heavy spring snow.
Crews work to restore power after an outage caused by wet, heavy spring snow.
Crews work to restore power after an outage caused by wet, heavy spring snow.
Crews work to restore power after a wet, heavy spring snowstorm.
Crews work to restore power after an outage caused by wet, heavy spring snow.
Crews work to restore power after an outage caused by wet, heavy spring snow.

Powering Through the Storm

630x400 MT May Storm 2024

Powering Through the Storm

NorthWestern Energy crews continue to work to restore service in Montana for customers affected by outages during this spring storm that brought strong winds and heavy snow and rain.

Additional personnel and equipment are in our hardest hit areas to assist with the work to restore service as quickly as possible, safely. 

Thank you to all customers affected by outages for your patience, especially those experiencing outages for extended lengths of time. 

Our dispatch, warehouse and other departments are doing everything possible to support our crews in the field in these challenging weather conditions working to restore your power. 
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NorthWestern Energy customers in Moore, rural Stanford, Geyser and Utica areas will have extended power outages

Date: May 8, 2024
Type: News

NorthWestern Energy customers in Monarch, Neihart and White Sulphur Springs areas will have extended power outages

Date: May 8, 2024
Type: News