Inland NW windstorm 2015: School closures and other helpful info

Greater Spokane Department of Emergency Management (DEM), in partnership with numerous agencies, held another press conference Friday to update the community on the recovery status after Tuesday’s unprecedented windstorm. As the weekend approaches, for many people, it might be the first time they are able to assess and address damage. This again presents opportunities for neighbors to help neighbors as community resilience grows and #InlandStrong grows deeper roots.

With freezing low temperatures set to remain for several days, as well as the possibility for outages to last through the weekend for some, officials still urge individuals to shelter where there is electricity and heat.

If friends and family are not an option, the list of community shelter and warming centers continues to grow. More resources can be found HERE.

The DEM also recommends using 2-1-1 to find windstorm resources as well as this crisis map.

For those remaining in their homes, a volunteer door-to-door campaign is underway in the city of Spokane to check on those people and make sure they have what they need and remain safe and warm. Community volunteers are working in teams in northwest and northeast Spokane. Those efforts will expand to Spokane Valley over the weekend.

If you'd like to volunteer, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday or Sunday, please visit volunteerspokane.org.

While personal safety remains important, property safety has also been emphasized. The county reports there have been some thefts including two city-owned generators overnight Thursday. Aside from making sure to secure your own property, neighbors can help each other by reporting suspicious activity. For crimes in progress, please call 911 and if you have been the victim of a crime call Crime Check at 509-456-2233. Officials also remind residents to please continue to be patient and careful when encountering traffic signals that are out.

Clean-Up and Restoration Efforts

  • ? City of Spokane is continuing to make progress with fully deployed crews focusing on clearing arterials and other critical areas around schools and health care facilities—residential and side streets will follow. The City of Spokane extended free disposal of large storm debris through Nov. 29 at its Northside Landfill and Waste to Energy Plant. Over the past two days, those locations have accepted 306 tons of debris. Smaller debris can be placed into their clean green bins for regular pick up. Perishable food items can be disposed of in clean green bins once the packaging has been removed.
  • ? Specific to Spokane County efforts, crews are likewise widely deployed and focusing on arterials and residential and side streets. The Spokane County Regional Solid Waste System also is accepting residential storm-related yard and tree waste for free at its North County Transfer Station, 22123 N. Elk-Chattaroy Road, and Valley Transfer Station, 3941 N. Sullivan Road, through Sunday. Hours for those facilities are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The County has announced its free service runs through Nov. 22, with an extension to Nov. 29 at the North County Transfer Station.
  • ? Avista continues to make good progress on critical infrastructure and human services priorities and is still on track against original estimates to restore power to customers within three to five days of Nov. 17 windstorm—65,000 homes are still without power in their service area.
  • ? Inland Power and Light is still focused on efficiency and safety in their restoration efforts as 8,000 of their members remain without power.
  • ? Modern Electric is working diligently to restore power to its 186 customers who remain without power.
  • ? City of Spokane Valley officials are continuing to work with residents and businesses to assess damages to structures. The building department is offering free inspections for damages and can both residents and businesses can receive a certificate to submit to insurance.

In addition to freezing temperatures, rising wood smoke levels led to unhealthy air pollution levels and subsequently all outdoor burning in Spokane County is temporarily restricted. But indoor wood heating is not restricted under a State of Emergency exemption allowing indoor wood burning throughout Spokane County during this widespread power outage.

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