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KHQ Weather Authority Alert: Citizens advised to stay home and off roadways

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

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UPDATE: 10:00 a.m. Wednesday: 

The Greater Spokane Department of Emergency Management is working to currently assess the damage caused by last night’s severe storm.  With the large amount of downed trees and power lines, travel is still potentially dangerous.  Citizens are advised to stay home and off our roadways if possible. 

Power companies are working extremely hard to assess the damage to their systems and to restore power as quickly as possible. 

Remember, stay away from downed power lines.  As lines are repaired, even power line you “think” are dead may become energized. 

If you must travel, remember to treat intersections as 4-way stops if the traffic lights are inoperative.

Be aware of downed trees blocking roadways.

To report non-emergency call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

Life-threatening emergencies call 9-1-1.

To report downed power lines or to inquire about power outages, please contact your power company.

Avista                                   1-800-227-9187

Inland Power                     1-877-668-8243

Vera Power                        (509) 924-3800

To report downed trees blocking roadways in the City of Spokane please call 509-625-7733.

UPDATE: 8:12 p.m.

Wind conditions have started to lessen in severity so the Greater Spokane Department of Emergency Management is lifting the shelter in place advisement. Residents are still urged to use caution due to downed power lines, other existing hazards, and strong wind gusts that are expected to last through midnight tonight.

The extreme winds have resulted in downed trees, power lines, and flying debris. Wind conditions are still expected to have an impact on the Spokane area until approximately midnight. For your own safety, please use extreme caution when traveling through the area. Winds are slowly diminishing but will remain gusty overnight. We’ve passed the peak of the event at this point. Traffic signals are still out so please remember to treat those intersections as four way stops.

UPDATE: 4;30 p.m.: 

Conditions have risen to the point the Greater Spokane Department of Emergency Management is advising citizens to shelter in place. Only call 911 in the case of life threatening emergency.

The extreme winds are resulting in downed trees, power lines, and flying debris. Conditions are expected to last until approximately 7pm. For your own safety, please find a substantial building and shelter in place.  Stay away from exterior walls or windows. Only call 911 in the case of a life threatening emergency. 

Extremely damaging winds are expected in the Inland Northwest Tuesday afternoon and evening. The City of Spokane is allowing employees to leave early and is encouraging other businesses to do the same. Cheney School District has canceled all after-school activities and other districts are expected to follow suit.

RELATED: KHQ Weather Authority: Power Outages & Flight Delays

Numerous agencies are partnering with Spokane County Department of Emergency Management to alert the Spokane Area that our region is expected to be hard-hit by winds this afternoon which will likely create power outages, fallen trees, downed power lines and fires. These agencies are also encouraging local businesses and agencies to consider ending operations early in the day in order to keep traffic to a minimum between 4-7pm tonight. Spokane County DEM will be using the hash tag #InlandWinds on Twitter.

Before a power outage, individuals should ensure their disaster preparedness kit contains flashlights and/or light sticks, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries and a wind-up clock. Individuals should also have a safe alternative heat source and supply of fuel. Never burn charcoal or use a generator indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. There are also steps employers can take to ensure provision of services continues throughout the outage—this is especially important for health-related services.

KHQ Weather Authority Alert: Preparing for a windstorm

The state Department of Health offers a fact sheet specific to power outages that can be located here. King County Public Health also has a helpful carbon monoxide safety flyer here.

“There are a host of health and safety concerns that come along with power outages. Fortunately, there are prevention steps our community can take to prepare and stay safe, “ said Tiffany Turner, Spokane Regional Health District Emergency Preparedness program manager.

Do not call 9-1-1 or other emergency numbers unless you have a life-threatening emergency. Do not approach or attempt to move downed power lines. City/County Crews and Power Utilities will be responding as quickly as possible; they are not responding to downed cable TV lines. 

To report downed power lines or if your power is out, call Avista at 1-800-227-9187 Inland Power (877) 668-8243.

When possible stay indoors during periods of high wind, away from the potential for falling trees and power lines.

Greater Spokane Emergency Management's information page will be updated as necessary. 

During the storm, the top priorities for the city of Spokane will be life safety, clearing streets and restoring critical infrastructure.  The Emergency Coordination Center has been staffed and is ready to support emerging community situations as they are identified.

“We are ready and prepared to assist those impacted by the weather,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said. “Motorists should be alert for debris and obstructions, allow a little extra time, use a little more caution and remember that when the power’s out, everyone stops.”

City first responders are working with the Department of Emergency Management to best coordinate and deploy resources

Leaf cleanup crews working in the city are on standby to respond to downed trees blocking streets (Report downed trees blocking traffic in the city to 625-7733)

Street crews are prepared to deploy generators to busy intersections in the event power is lost to traffic signals

Warming centers will be activated tonight to provide relief from the weather

“WSDOT crews are fully staffed and ready to respond to wind-related problems.  If strong winds do occur and result in trees and debris on state highways, crews will work to clear them as soon as possible as long as it is safe to do so.  The best source for state highway road closure information is our traffic and roads link on our web site:  www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/Eastern.aspx or by dialing 5-1-1.”

In the event that extreme wind causes the inability of helicopters to fly, Northwest MedStar’s ICU-level crews stand mission-ready with critical care ground ambulances for shorter distances and airplanes for longer transports.

City of Spokane Valley Public Works Department is ready to respond to damage from today’s expected high winds. City crews will be out watching for traffic light outages and traffic signs down.

Reporting information for City of Spokane Valley:

Description

Weekdays 8:00am – 5:00pm

After hours

Downed power lines

Call local power company, or if unknown, call 921-1000

Call 9-1-1

Traffic signal outages

Call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1

Traffic signs down

Call 921-1000

Call 9-1-1

Downed trees in right of way

Call 921-1000

Call 9-1-1

Debris in right of way

Call 921-1000

Call 9-1-1 if presenting traffic hazard; otherwise call 921-1000 and leave message or report online at www.spokanevalley.org using the Report a Problem link

Street lights out (not traffic signals)

Call 921-1000

Call 921-1000 and leave message  or report online at www.spokanevalley.org using the Report a Problem link

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