Two spring snowstorms were just too much for power companies across western North Dakota.

But perhaps the hardest hit was the Mountrail Williams Electric Cooperative headquartered in Williston.

“We serve a little over 18,000 services, so yeah it was pretty catastrophic,” said Chris Brostuen, MWEC manager of Public Relations.

MWEC had a major issue — one they had never experienced.

“We’ve had ice storms, winter storms come through and summer thunderstorms that knocked down a lot of poles and lines, but this is a record-setting one this year. I’ve never seen anything like it in 35 years,” said Brostuen.

With the extent of the damage and the large number of people impacted, the cooperative had to bring in help to fix the situation.

“I think we had roughly a dozen different contractors and cooperatives that have come in and helped out. Bringing somewhere around 150 contract employees that have really helped out and really allowed the coop to reach the goals we did,” he added.

The number of residential customers without power has been going down each day as repairs have been made, but there is still work to be completed.

“So right now, we’re right around 123 residential services still without power. We had hoped that we’d have everybody back on by the end of the week, but the weather has slowed progress,” said Brostuen.

Once all of the residential customers have their power restored next week, the cooperative will turn its effort to its industrial customers and the equipment in the oil fields.

The general manager of the coop estimates the recovery effort will cost nearly $20 million.