Spokane police officer recalls Windstorm 2015 - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane police officer recalls Windstorm 2015

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

Windstorm 2015 is something that will be etched in our minds for years to come, but especially for our first responders.

Spokane Police Officer Shane Phillips was patrolling that night.

“It was surreal,” he says. “There's literally trees this big falling down and they're falling down so quickly that you're not even sure where to send people.”

That's because at the height of the storm, the number of safe places to go disappeared by the minute. With more power lines and trees crashing down, Officer Phillips realized the night was only beginning.

“There were so many calls for service and there were so many calls for emergencies. There was no way we could even get to all the problems,” he says.

That's when officers had to start prioritizing the calls by potential for loss of life and whether an officer could even get there. Phillips was stuck on the South Hill that night because of all the downed lines and trees.

“I actually had to tell dispatch that I'll be working south for the rest of the evening because I couldn't go anywhere else,” he says.

Though trees blocked their path, and thousands were without power, Shane says they did learn something that night. That Spokane is a community that stands strong together.

“It was a true group effort,” he says.

And now, Spokane is even stronger to face the next storm of the century. 

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