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Downed power lines, trees during 2021 Spokane windstorm lead to road closures

Downed trees blocked numerous roads on Spokane's South Hill and areas of Coeur d'Alene during Wednesday's windstorm.
Credit: Eric Larsen
Tree over road on South Hill

SPOKANE, Wash. — Downed trees and power lines blocked roads throughout the Spokane area on Wednesday morning amid a damaging windstorm.

A 71-mph gust recorded at the Spokane International Airport on Wednesday morning makes the 2021 windstorm as strong as the historic storm in 2015 that led Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency. One woman was killed and another was injured during the storm on Wednesday.

Highway 395 was closed in both directions near Clayton due to power lines and a power pole over the road, according to a tweet from the Washington State Department of Transportation's Eastern region. The road has since reopened. 

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Two lanes of westbound I-90 near the Highway 2 interchange were closed due to power lines in the road, but they have since reopened. 

Downed also blocked numerous roads on Spokane's South Hill, including portions of Thurston Avenue and Perry Street. 

Roads were also blocked near Manito Park and a tree fell through a home at 24th Avenue and Manito Boulevard. Trees also fell into cars in the area of 16th and Grand Avenues, blocking the roadway.

A downed tree closed one lane of the Browne Street on-ramp to eastbound I-90 earlier on Wednesday morning. The tree had been removed and was on the ground as of 9 a.m. Crews were working to remove debris and reopen the second lane of the on-ramp. 

Spokane Valley Fire also responded to downed powerlines throughout the area. At about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, they were responding to the area of East Sprague Avenue and South Long Road for a tree that took out some powerlines. 

In North Idaho, there were trees and power lines down in Rathdrum on Highway 41 at Coeur d'Alene Street, authorities said. The Rathdrum Police Department redirected traffic, and asked any oversized load or semi-trucks with double or triple trailers avoid the area and take an alternate route. The roadway reopened at about 3 p.m.