When some downtown Missoula Businesses tried to turn on the lights Friday morning, May 5, they couldn’t because of risks posed by the destruction of the Missoula Mercantile building. Northwestern Energy Spokeswoman Brandy Powers explains.

"Friday morning we are experiencing an unplanned outage due to Merc building demolition that is happening this morning," said Powers. "We were working with the contractor that is demoing that building and just like with any demolition project, as much as you try and plan for it you can run into some unplanned circumstances."

Workers performing the demolition asked for a power line that runs right next to The Merc to be de-energized. The power outage affected 48 businesses in a city block, from Ryman to Pattee for a few hours starting at 9:30 a.m.