Power back on for 80% of Avista customers




Posted on July 23, 2014 at 6:10 AM

Updated Friday, Jul 25 at 12:41 PM

SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.—As of Friday at noon, Avista had power back on for 80% of their customers.

As of Thursday evening, Inland Power and Light had more than 8,000 customers still in the dark.

Leaders from both companies told KREM 2 News they are using every resource available.
Avista linemen have been working around the clock since Wednesday night in North Spokane and North Spokane County.

Avista leaders said at the height of the storm 40,000 customers were in the dark. Comparably, during the 1996 ice storm in Spokane there were 100,000 customers without power.  Some of those outages lasted two week according to Avista workers.

“Our technology has changed,” added Laurine June with Avista. “Certainly our manpower has changed so it's hard to compare one storm to the other."

Inland Power and Avista were using all available teams since the Wednesday night storm hit. They also contracted outside teams to work between six and 14 hours.

Both power companies also sent crews to help restore power in Okanogan Co. where the Carlton Complex brought down power lines.  The wildfire damage has tied up many contract crews who would have otherwise helped in Spokane Co.

Pend Oreille Public Utilities District had 1500 customers without power on Friday.  Pend Oreille PUD expected it could take up to a week to fully restore power for all of its customers.

Authorities with Whitworth Water District asked customers to conserve water, as it did not have power to run its pumps Thursday morning. In Idaho, residents in Boundary County are asked to avoid water usage/limit it until the pumps are working again.

The Spokane Fire Department and its Combined Communication Center received more than 250 calls for service after the storm first touched down.  Authorities said more than 200 calls were for downed power lines and another 40-50 were for fallen trees. The Spokane Fire Department urged residents of the Spokane area to be cautious of downed power-lines and fallen trees on Thursday as crews continued to clean up debris and repair damage.