KELLER, Wash. -- The power is back on for about 1,000 customers in Ferry County, but officials said it could take up to two weeks to restore electricity to the remaining 2,500 homes and businesses.
A storm ripped through the county around 3:30 Friday afternoon, causing a number of trees to topple.
Downed trees, power lines and phone lines led Ferry County officials and Colville Tribes to declare a state of emergency Saturday afternoon.
Power has been restored to several businesses in the town of Republic. One business owner said the electricity went out at the worst possible time, because they had just received a shipment of perishable food. The store will not receive another shipment until next weekend.
The Emergency Management Division says one person died because of the storms. The victim died in a campground near the mountains above Curlew, Washington.
Most of the county will likely deal with power outages throughout the next couple of days. The Washington State Emergency Management Division will assist the area, as well as the Red Cross, which established a command center in Keller Community Center.
Ferry County and the Colville Tribes also requested assistance from the state.
As of Sunday morning, the assistance included:
• Coordinated the delivery of 22 radios for search and rescue operations from Stevens County to Ferry County.
• Providing a liaison and two additional personnel from the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division for assistance with damage assessments and initial recovery operations.
• Supplying refrigerated trucks for food storage and portable showers from Department of Natural Resources that will arrive at the shelter at the Community Center in the town of Keller on the Colville Reservation this afternoon.
The Department of Transportation says trees and lines are down on Highway 21 from Keller to Republic. Drivers are advised to be cautious and expect delays.