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Power restored to 99% of Avista customers after Spokane snowstorm

Avista has restored power to over 99% of the 32,234 customers who lost power during the snowstorm earlier this week.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Power has been restored to 99% of 32 thousand Avista customers who lost power during a snowstorm that hit earlier this week. 

Customers who remain without power may have damage to their service equipment, which needs to be addressed by a licensed electrician before power can be restored to the home, Avista advised. 

The City of Spokane said crews received more than 150 reports of downed trees on Wednesday morning, with much of the damage concentrated on the South Hill. As of Thursday afternoon, a third of those locations had been addressed by city crews from Streets, Water, Wastewater and Urban Forestry.

Outages began just before midnight on Wednesday and peaked at about 2 a.m. with 32,324 customers without power. Just 43 outages remain out of the hundreds which had yet to be addressed Thursday afternoon.

Avista officials said customers should look for the following if their houses are still without power:

  • An overhead mast that is bent and pulled away from the house, causing a wire to hang.
  • A bent mast broke the fitting where the wire connects to your electric meter.
  • A broken meter fitting caused an arc or burned meter socket.

Avista announced crews will be available throughout the weekend to restore power to customers once electrical repairs have been made. Customers who have been advised that power has been restored to their neighborhoods and their lights are still out can contact Avista at (800) 227-9187.

David Howell, Avista operations director, said Avista hoped to have power restored to most customers by early Friday morning. 

Howell said the hardest hit areas were Spokane's South Hill and Airway Heights. He said by the time the sun came up Wednesday morning, they were almost fully staffed with crews working to restore power. Howell said Avista did not send crews to California to help with the blackouts, so all of their crews are in the Spokane area. 

Avista leaders said they have called upon additional resources from across its service area to help restore power. As of Thursday morning, 57 Avista crews were working to restore power. This includeded both line crews and vegetation management crews. 

Additional crews had also been dispatched to support restoration efforts, according to Avista. 

Avista worked to restore critical infrastructure first, such as transmission lines, substations and hospitals. Once critical customers had power restored, crews then worked to restore power to a larger number of customers. 

Crews then came back through to restore individual outages in neighborhoods, which means customers may have seen service people in their neighborhoods multiple times. 

Thousands of Kootenai Electric and Inland Power customers were without power on Wednesday following the storm but the outages have since been restored as of Thursday morning. 

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said power was expected to be restored by Thursday at midnight. 

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