Randy Bame decided he’d change his alternator Sunday afternoon, so he put his Audi on blocks in front of his Spokane Valley home.
Before he could really get to work, his fiancee called him inside for lunch. He ate a bowl of chili and then laced up one boot. He started to put on the other, and then the power went out, about 1:30 p.m.
Bame looked outside.
“The power line had fallen across the car, where I would have been lying,” Bame said. “I just sat here for a while, kind of stunned.”
The fallen line shorted out power to several East Farms neighborhood homes that had been with power since Tuesday night.
Everybody gets to take a turn in the dark
Bob Danelson’s large family has played musical homes, jumping from one to the next, depending on who had power.
Danelson thought he was lucky. Except for four hours on Tuesday, his Newman Lake home had electricity.
On Sunday, he planned to celebrate his daughter Jessica’s 5th birthday by going to Chuck E Cheese’s Pizza. But the roads were too bad.
They watched “Independence Day” on the VCR. And just before the Earthlings attacked the alien’s mother ship - blackness. The power went out.
Jessica dressed up in her hat, a jacket, snowpants, boots and gloves that were either “fishies” or “puppies.”
“Everybody’s going to kind of switch around again,” said Danelson with a sigh. “Now it’s our turn.”
City will begin plowing streets today
Spokane street crews will begin plowing residential streets at noon today, officials said. It will take some time before all streets are cleared.
Crews will be running in daylight hours only, and the going will be slow because of debris and downed power lines. They will plow only to within only 6 feet of curbs.
Officials ask residents to remove extension cords and cars from the streets before plows move through.
Some residents who have power have run extension cords across streets to neighbors without electricity.
Call 625-7733 to find out when plows will be in your neighborhood.
Loss of telephone service not widespread
Though powerless storm victims are tired of the cold, most of them have been able to use their telephones during the past week.
Unlike power lines, most telephone lines in Spokane County are underground.
“There are still about 500 homes in the rural areas who don’t have service because some of those lines are airborne,” said US West spokeswoman Annette Miller.
“Restoring those lines is dependent upon how quickly the power companies can get out there,” Miller said. “We can’t do any work until they’re finished with theirs.”
There were areas on Spokane’s North Side that lost phone service late Saturday and Sunday. However, Miller said the outages weren’t widespread.
She wasn’t sure how many people in Spokane were without service.
Garbage trucks will bypass blocked alleys
City garbage trucks will be running on schedule this week, bypassing alleys blocked by downed power lines and debris.
Residents whose alleys are blocked should drag their trash cans to the curb, city officials said.
It helps to spread warmth around
One South Hill man came up with a creative way to keep his 98-year-old grandfather warm at night. He’s sleeping with him.
The man refused to give his name, saying, “I’d never be able to live this story down.” He leaves his family at night to be with his grandfather.
“I’m worried about him,” the grandson said. “He doesn’t want to leave, and I don’t want him to freeze.”
, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo
The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Staff writers Kim Barker, Adam Lynn and Kevin Blocker contributed to this report.