Tree branch knocks out power on Silver Mountain

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KELLOGG — Things went dark for a second in Kellogg last Friday morning when a tree fell on a power line outside Kellogg and knocked out power to parts of the Shoshone County’s most populated city.

Silver Mountain Resort lost power for nearly an hour due to the tree branch, including on the mountain.

The resort does have backup power in place for such an event, but there were initially reports of a tree being tangled with the cables of the gondola itself, which required Silver Mountain employees to do a full sweep of the lines before they could get the backup motor up and running.

Folks on the gondola and chair lifts were literally just hanging out for a while as the gondola cables were inspected.

Thankfully, the outage didn’t last very long as Avista crews were able to get the line cleared of the tree and had full power restored 45 minutes later.

Silver Mountain general manager Jeff Colburn was pleased at how expeditiously the situation was handled, for both the resort and its guests.

“While it is a rare occurrence to lose power on the mountain, the Mountain House, chairlifts, and gondola all have backup generators and motors in place,” Colburn said. “Avista did an outstanding job restoring power in an efficient and timely manner.”

Students inside Kellogg Middle School and the staff working at the Kellogg School District Office and Administrative Annex experienced a few moments of fluttering power before their backup systems carried them through.

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