Low pressure system blows through Helena

Nolan Lister

Gusts of wind nearly topping 70 mph swept through the Helena Valley on Saturday taking with them numerous trees and power lines.

Meteorologist Bob Hoenisch with the National Weather Service Great Falls office said the Helena Regional Airport recorded the largest gust of the day at 68 mph around 10:53 a.m.

The majority of Marysville lost power.

NorthWestern Energy and Helena Fire Department responded to numerous call for service regarding downed power lines around Helena.

NorthWestern Energy’s online outage map showed reported power outages affecting upward of 3,000 customers in Helena.

Dispatch received a flurry of calls around noon when the winds peaked. At least a half-dozen wind-felled trees blocked roadways and had to be removed, including on Custer Avenue and Broadway Street.

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Dispatch received a call for service on a two-car accident caused by flying debris, and a dumpster blew into the intersection of California Street and 11th Avenue.

“The fire department has definitely been going call-to-call-to-call with these downed power lines. They’re working extremely hard today,” said Helena Police Capt. Randy Ranalli.

Hoenisch said Montana is no stranger to high winds, but that Saturday’s weather was “just a

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