Avista receives outside help as windstorm recovery continues - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Avista receives outside help as windstorm recovery continues

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Avista crews continue to work Friday to restore power. Photo: Facebook/Avista Avista crews continue to work Friday to restore power. Photo: Facebook/Avista

As Avista crews continue to restore power to homes and businesses as quickly as possible, the arrival of energy crews from outside the region should allow for a faster recovery. As of 5 p.m. Friday, there are still about 70,000 customers without power in the Spokane area.

Avista reports that with the arrival of crews from the San Francisco Bay area utility Pacific Gas and Electric, as well as crews from NV Energy out of Reno, coupled with Avista and contractor crews, they will have 97 crews available to work on a rotating basis throughout the service territory. As power is restored in outlying areas, such as Othello and Grangeville and others, crews will travel to Spokane to provide assistance.

They remind customers that their work will be prioritized.

  • The focus on work for Friday is to repair 11 of the 30 damaged feeders that serve critical customers. These include health and human services such as hospitals, nursing homes, police and fire operations, along with city services like water and sewer.
  • Once critical customers are restored, crews will then work to restore power to the most heavily populated areas.
  • Avista has specifically identified areas where it can get larger blocks of customers energized. Those locations will be determined each day for the remainder of the outage.
  • At the same time, tremendous progress is being made in outlying areas of Avista’s 30,000 mile service territory. As these areas are restored, these crews will be redeployed to the hardest hit areas of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

For ongoing information about outage status, please visit www.avistautilities.com

Avista reports no accidents have occurred so far but urge customers to be safe. Avista suggests customers take the following steps during an outage:

  • Do not wire an emergency generator into a home’s electrical system, unless there is a disconnect switch to separate generated power from Avista’s distribution system. Back feed 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.
  • If you see a downed power line, stay away. Treat all power lines as if they are carrying electrical current, and never touch or move one.
  • 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
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