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Windy Billings weather cancels Cape Air flights, cuts power for some

Posted at 6:33 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 21:00:08-05

BILLINGS — The severe wind in Billings Tuesday canceled a few flights, yanked branches from trees and cut the power for a handful in the area.

Utility crews with NorthWestern Energy and Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative had a few problems with the wind, but it wasn't an overly busy day, utility officials said.

"You know, we've had a few, nothing major. Quite honestly, the largest outage we've had was 33 meters over in the Shepherd area. And that was due to a storage shed getting blown up into the lines, believe it or not," said Yellowstone Valley Electric CEO Brandon Wittman.

Wittman added that his crews had a few other outages that were a result of trees touching power lines.

Yellowstone Valley Electric added a second tree trimming team in the fall of 2019. He credited that team with the low number of outages seen Tuesday.

"They’ve been working through the winter and I think it’s paid off. It helped us with days like today. It could have been a lot worse of a day for us. But because of our efforts to keep our right of way clean, we’ve had minimal outages," Wittman said.

NorthWestern Energy also saw a few outages, but nothing significant.

“We’ve had a few localized outages today, but nothing significant from a system perspective. The upgrades that we’ve done on our system in infrastructure improvements in the past few years is really paying off today," said Lisa Perry, NorthWestern Energy community relations manager.

At Billings Logan International Airport, six Cape Air flights arriving to Billings from places like Sidney, Glasgow, Glendive and Wolf Point were canceled.

030320 Billings Airport Arrivals.JPG
Screenshot from the Billings Logan International Airport web site showing Tuesday arrivals.

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