Update: Northwestern Energy has confirmed that the power went out because of an "equipment failure at substation three" and that the power was restored to customers by 8: 13 a.m.

At around 7:00 a.m. this morning, August 20 the north side of Missoula was hit by a blackout.

"We had a problem in the substation on the north side of Missoula this morning, I don't know what the cause of the problem is, but we ended up losing service to about 10,000 customers, which is a pretty big bunch of people obviously," said Northwestern Energy spokesman Butch Larkham. "We got most of them back in service in about 30 - 40 minutes. At this point we have about eight to nine hundred customers without service up along the Reserve Street area.

The outage caused traffic lights to go out at the high traffic Reserve/Mullan intersection as well.

Larkham said that the cause of the outage was still under investigation and acknowledged that a lightning storm early Wednesday morning could have caused the problem.