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Workers Clean Up After Storm Tears Through Region High Winds Knock Down Power Lines, Break Boats Loose From Moorings

Power crews went on cleanup patrols throughout the region Monday after Sunday night’s surprise storm left a wind-blown mess of dangling branches and fallen trees.

Hundreds of homes were left in the dark for hours in North Idaho and Eastern Washington, said Jay Hopkins, a Washington Water Power spokesman.

Most damage occurred around the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene starting at 11 p.m.

Harrison was hardest hit.

“Because people were in bed they didn’t notice that their power was out until this morning when their alarm clocks were blinking,” Hopkins said.

Most of the power was restored by 9 a.m. Monday, but a few residents were still without power at noon.

In Spokane, about 150 people called WWP about blinking lights and temporary outages throughout the night, Hopkins said.

Dozens of homes also lost electricity in Colville, Pullman, Lewiston and Sandpoint. In Grangeville, 50 homes went without power until Monday morning.

The Kootenai County sheriff’s marine patrol spent part of Monday chasing down boats that had broken loose from their moorings.

The 40-mph winds also ripped a few docks loose from their pilings, said Kootenai County sheriff’s Capt. Ben Wolfinger.

The storm brought just under a half-inch of rain to Spokane International Airport and a dramatic change in temperatures.

Elsewhere in the region, winds gusting to 100 mph Monday evening forced closure of Interstate 80 in western Utah, with authorities reporting as many as 17 semi-trucks blown over by the gusts.

And in the Portland area Monday, lightning struck at least three times, hitting a Horizon Air plane and causing two house fires in Gresham.

A spokesman for Portland International Airport said no one was injured on the Horizon flight from Seattle to Portland.

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: BYLINE = Bonnie Harris and Winda Benedetti Staff writers The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Freeman students march in unity to honor memory of slain classmate Sam Strahan

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Drenched in sunshine and a sharp spring wind, more than 70 students marched Friday out of Freeman High School behind a “Freeman Strong” banner to the same football field where they sheltered in fear last September following the shooting that killed 15-year-old Sam Strahan and injured three girls.