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Avista announces response plan as windstorm approaches Spokane area

The wind gusting from 45 to 60 miles per hour Monday afternoon through Tuesday morning will be strong enough to down trees, break tree limbs, and knock out power.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Avista Utilities announced a response plan in preparation for Monday’s projected windstorm in the Inland Northwest.

The high wind warning stretches from central Washington through Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, down into the Palouse, up and over Lookout Pass and into Western Montana. The wind advisory encompasses areas not in the warning from the eastern side of the Cascades through the Inland Northwest. The warnings and advisories are widespread because the potential for impacts from the wind are widespread.

According to Avista, crews are ready to respond to potential outages from falling trees and power lines. Warehouse supplies are currently in place in Spokane and outer offices while assessment teams are standing by. Wire guard teams are also in place to help ensure public safety near drowned power lines while tree crews are prepping to clear any trees or branches from the storm.

Sustained winds are expected throughout the afternoon and into the evening. Avista reported that estimated restoration times are not likely to be available until the storm has passed and their team is able to make assessments.

Customers can expect to see current outage numbers on Avista's online outage map while the estimated restoration time will note that outages are under assessment. As assessments are complete and more information is known, estimated restoration times will be updated on the outage map.

According to Avista, customers should take the following precautions during an outage:

  • Turn off all the appliances that were on before the power went out.
  •  Unplug electronic equipment, including computers.
  • Leave a light or radio on as an alert when power has been restored.
  • Help AVISTA crews working in a neighborhood know which homes have power by turning on the front porch light.
  • Do not wire an emergency generator into a home’s electrical system, unless there is a disconnect switch to separate generated power from AVISTA distribution system. Backfeed into power lines could injure or kill a lineman working to get electricity restored.
  • Use a generator only to run specific appliances and locate it outside so poisonous carbon monoxide fumes do not enter the home.

Additional wind and storm information

  • Citizens can call 3-1-1 to report trees blocking roadways.
  • For trees entangled with power lines, call Avista at 1-800-227-9187.
  • If downed power lines pose an emergency, please call 9-1-1. Don’t approach downed power lines. Check Avista outage map 
  • If trees come down, crews will prioritize opening blocked arterials first. Later, when the wind subsides, they would work on blocked residential streets. Beyond that, they would move to general debris removal from the streets.
  • Citizens are responsible for trees down on private property. We encourage people to avoid working on tree damage until after the storm.
  • If tree clean up is needed, citizens can take tree debris from their yards to the Waste to Energy facility, 2900 S. Geiger Blvd. Residents who need to clear tree debris from private property are encouraged to refer to the list of licensed arborists at spokanecity.org. Clean Green weekly pickup continues through Dec. 3 for those who subscribe to that service.

Customers who experience a power outage are encouraged to report it online or through their mobile device at www.myavista.com/outage or by calling (800) 227-9187.

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