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Yellowstone Power, Phone Service Back After Morning Outage

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avatar Yellowstone Power, Phone Service Back After Morning Outage
June 03, 2009 03:26PM
Phone, internet and electric service to Yellowstone National Park were all disrupted Wednesday morning.

A localized power outage overnight cut electric service to a communications relay tower near Gardiner, Montana.

Qwest Communications provides phone and internet connectivity to the park and the nearby communities of Gardiner and Cooke City, Montana. Cell service in and near the park is dependent upon the same microwave communications relay.

A Qwest spokesperson confirms the area lost phone and internet service this morning when the back-up batteries powering the microwave relay site ran out.

The storm also washed out the access road to the tower. Qwest technicians carried additional batteries into the site, and were able to restore phone service at about 11:00 a.m.

A second power outage in the area was more widespread.

About 8:20 this morning, a Northwestern Energy transmission line which travels between Clyde Park and Emigrant broke. A company spokesman says this line ties in with another out of Livingston, in order to provide the electric needs of Gardiner, Mammoth Hot Springs, and much of the interior of Yellowstone.

When the line broke, the area lost electrical service for 60-90 minutes.

Some parts of the park will remain on back-up generators until the repairs to the main Northwestern Energy transmission line are completed this evening.

A third power outage this morning affected Cooke City, Montana, located just outside the park’s Northeast Entrance. That area is served by Flathead Electric Cooperative.
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