High winds cause chaos and damage across Carbon County

By 
Alastair Baker
News Editor
Thursday, April 1, 2021
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Photo by Gary Robson
The metal hay barn at the Yellowstone Animal Sanctuary took a tumble near the buffalo pen.

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Photo by Alastair Baker
Dan Richardson helps cut up a neighborhood tree in Fromberg. The 70-year-old 40-foot pine tree fell during the storm taking out some power pole lines but missed a shed and a garage across the alley.

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Photo by Donald and Rebecca Hardy
Four Northwestern Energy employees work to restore power in the alley between Hauser and Word at Sixth.

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Photo by Donald and Rebecca Hardy
The alley behind the west side of North Hauser, between 6th and 7th street with Northwestern company crews using four lifts as they bring back electrical service. “These guys deserve huge thanks for hours of dangerous work in wind and bitter cold,” said Rebecca Hardy. “Our power was out 12.5 hours, internet 13.5.”

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Photo by Linnhe Reed
A fallen tree in an alley between Hauser and Ward off 6th Street, Red Lodge.

High winds from Eastern Montana Sunday night slammed through the area with 70 mph winds that left power-outages, downed trees, ripped up fencing, garages and barns and started fires. 

Crews from Northwestern Energy, Beartooth Electric as well as contracted crews responded around midnight to the storm situation 

“Crews did find trees in some lines that contributed to outages. In Red Lodge, about 300 NorthWestern Energy customers were still out of power at about 2 p.m.” said Jo Dee Black, Public Relations Specialist with Northwestern Energy.

According to the Carbon County Sheriff’s Department there was a small 2-acre fire on the Edgar-Fromberg Road that was a control burn from Thursday that reignited as a result of the wind on Monday.  

“There was no property or structure damage, thanks to quick response from Edgar, Joliet, Fromberg and Bridger fire departments,” said Sheriff Josh McQuillan.

At the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary (YWS) its 275 square foot metal hay barn was rolled over and nearly settled in the buffalo pen housing Speedy and Luna.

YWS Director Gary Robson said there were no injuries but added the animals were “pretty freaked out.”

“The wind was making enough noise as it was. Having that thing flip must have freaked Speedy and Luna out. This morning, though, they were standing right next to it by their feeder waiting for breakfast,” he said.

The back gate to YWS was also broken but was later fixed.

Robson wasn’t sure how much it was going to cost to fix the barn but had a group of volunteers coming in to help disassemble it.

YWS is looking for donations to rebuild it. Donors can go online to www.yellowstonewildlifesanctuary.org/support-the-sanctuary

The storm, known in meteorolgical terms as a bombogenesis, is a rapid intensification of a storm caused by a sudden and significant drop in atmospheric pressure of 24 millibars in 24 hours. According to the National Weather Service in Billings this storm dropped 28.2 millibars in the same period. 

The public is urged to stay away from any downed or damaged power lines and report them to your energy provider.

 

 

Photo by Linnhe Reed

A fallen tree in an alley between Hauser and Ward off 6th Street, Red Lodge.

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