Many isolated areas throughout the county are still without power, even though it's now four days after an early winter storm's snow-laden trees downed lines.
As of late Monday, about 150 of the 3,000 customers that lost power were still stranded, according to Mark Hanson of Montana-Dakota Utilities, and for another 435, power was available, but couldn't be accessed because lines into the customer's home or business were damaged. Those lines, he said, belong to the individual property owner and must be repaired by an electrician.
Town officials from Dayton, Ranchester and Clearmont, said most residents there experienced little or no loss of power or had power restored by Monday. Dayton Mayor Bob Wood said power had been restored to all of the town's residents, although some had to wait as long as 36 to 40 hours for that to happen.
Ranchester lost power briefly in the early hours Friday morning, according to Mayor Allan Moore. Clearmont Town Clerk Janet Riesland said power was off there for a couple of hours Friday morning and again Friday afternoon, then on-and-off for short periods during the middle of the day.
The problem now, countywide, is tree disposal. Mayor Wood of Dayton described city park as a “war zone,” because of all the downed trees. Fortunately, he said, the town's ready for the onslaught of dead trees in the town's sewer lagoon burn pit because the existing brush pile was burned Thursday.
Ranchester's mayor reported “quite a bit of damage” to older trees, and said the town will open its sewer lagoon today for residents to drop off tree limbs and brush. The Clearmont clerk said some trees went down there, but she had not heard of any massive damage.