A severe lightning storm turned off the lights for approximately 2,000 Montana residents at around 3:00 p.m. May 22.

According to Northwest Energy Spokesman Butch Larcombe, the outage appears to have been caused by a lightning strike directly on a power line. One resident witnessed the strike and told Larcombe that it had "turned the line blue."

The power outage effected residents in East Missouola, Bonner, and Milltown for approximately 30 minutes.

Larcombe reported that crews also found at least one downed tree on the line.

For those that witness downed or sparking lines, do not approach and call (888) 467-2669 to inform Northwest Energy about the hazard.

Butch Larcombe