Windstorm recovery: What's taking so long? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Windstorm recovery: What's taking so long?

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Power poles take an average of 4-6 hours to replace with machines. Power poles take an average of 4-6 hours to replace with machines.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Thousands of homes continue to sit in the dark Monday night. While more than 600 workers try to turn the lights on one block at a time, many of you may be asking, “What’s taking so long?”

Avista says the damage is so widespread that it’s hard to get a good understanding of all the issues and exact estimate of restoration time until crews get on the ground.

But another issue is where the damage hit. The homes in many of those places that were hit need to be turned back on customer-by-customer. Also, a lot of the damage was in areas where there are backyard easements, so access for all the machinery becomes an issue.

“Those are the ones that are so time consuming for our crews to carry in the poles, to hand dig the holes for the poles to climb on the poles to get the infrastructure back in place instead of using their bucket truck,” says Heather Rosenstrater, Avista’s director of electrical engineering.

Power poles take an average of four to six hours to replace with machines.

Crews have also been working around the clock, trying to get as much done as possible before snow falls. They say once there is snow, it will slow down repair efforts.

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