Havre Daily News
A storm on Saturday and subsequent power outage may have shortened the Turner prom, but students were still able to dance part of the night away with the help of backup generators, principal Gordon Hahn said.
"It just made it entertaining," Hahn said today. "Everything went fine. The kids were good. We did quit a little early and sent them home because of the storm."
Students got an extended weekend because the power outage forced Turner Public Schools to close on Monday. Backup generators were put in place Monday night and school reopened the following day, Hahn said.
Households in Turner and Hogeland are still without power, however, and residents will likely be without electricity through the end of the week, Big Flat Electric Cooperative manager Jeanne Barnard said.
The storm brought high winds, sleet and snow through Blaine County Saturday, leaving about 500 households serviced by Big Flat without power, Barnard said. The storm also affected households in Phillips County. Between 100 and 200 Hill County Electric Cooperative customers in the Cleveland and Lloyd areas also were affected by power outages, operations manager Rollie Miller said. The one customer who was still without power this morning should be connected by the end of today, he said.
Big Flat Electric lost 85 transmission and distribution poles systemwide, with 66 poles falling in one 5-mile stretch north of Harlem, Barnard said. Power was restored to most areas by Tuesday night, Barnard said.
Miller and Barnard said the combination of ice and high winds were responsible for the downed poles. Barnard said winds in the Zortman area reached 85 mph.
"The poles don't have a chance when you have that much weight built on up on them and then you get the wind," Barnard said.
She added that co-op members have been extremely patient and helpful during the outage.
"The members of Big Flat have been awesome," Barnard said. "They've been very patient, and they know we're working as hard as we can to get power to them. I'm very proud of our members."
"It's been really good," Miller agreed. "The ranchers down there have been really good to work with. They've helped us out. That, coupled with the hard work of our own people, ... it's been a really quick turnaround."
Big Flat Electric received assistance in the form of crews and materials from Red Rock Power and several other cooperatives, Barnard said. Hill County Electric helped haul the generator to Turner School, Miller said.
"That's what cooperatives are all about, pooling our resources," Barnard said.
According to the Red Cross, residents should try to keep food cold with coolers and ice during power outages. Perishable foods that reach temperatures above 40 degrees should be discarded.