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With potential record breaking winter storm on the way, Northwestern Energy offers safety tips


September 25, 2019

Butte, Mont. – Sept. 27, 2019 – The Montana National Weather Service is forecasting a historic winter storm impacting much of western and central Montana beginning tonight.

The storm is expected to include heavy snowfall and blowing snow, record cold temperatures and strong winds.

The snow is expected to cause tree damage, which may cause power line damage.

NorthWestern Energy is adjusting staffing in anticipation of this winter storm. Report outages and damaged and downed power lines by calling the NorthWestern Energy Montana Customer Service line, 888-467-2669 or online at

Every call and online report helps our crews and operators know how large the outage is to diagnose the potential scale and cause of the outage.

Once the cause and impact of a power outage is diagnosed, our Distribution Dispatch Center calls in crews and dispatches them to repair any damaged equipment and get the power flowing again.

Winter storm safety tips:

· Non-electric, unvented space heaters can be a hazard. Use them only in well-ventilated areas.

· If you use an electric generator, plug appliances directly into it. Never plug a generator directly into your home's electrical wiring.

· Disconnect or turn off appliances you were using when the power went off. Leave one light on to tell you when service is restored.

· Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers. Food will stay frozen in a fully loaded freezer for 36 to 48 hours if the door is closed. In a half-full freezer, food will keep 24 hours.

· Stock up on non-perishable foods, heating fuel and medications.

· Fill your bathtub and spare containers with water in case your electric water pump or the local water system goes out.

· Have a flashlight, a battery-powered radio and fresh batteries handy.

· Prepare older family members, friends or neighbors who live alone for the weather.

· NorthWestern Energy reminds customers to make sure natural gas meters, as well as furnace and appliance vents, are free from snow and ice. Blocked vents could result in a loss of heat or buildup of deadly carbon monoxide in homes and other structures. Some furnace vents may be located on roofs.

· Safety starts with you, don’t take the risk of going into bad weather.

· NorthWestern Energy posts updates on outages on Facebook and Twitter, (@NWEinfo), and on the NorthWestern Energy Outage Map,, where you can sign up for text updates on an outage.

· Use a flashlight. Avoid candles because of the fire risk.

· Never use wet or damp electrical items

NorthWestern Energy workers, often out in dangerous weather conditions, work to restore power to your home or business as quickly, efficiently and as safely as possible.

If you have any questions, call the NorthWestern Energy Montana Customer Service line, 888-467-2669

Follow us on Facebook or on Twitter (@NWEinfo).


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