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Power loss blamed on teen who hit pole

A teenager accused of drunken driving caused a power outage that left some North Side residents without electricity during triple-digit heat and closed the Maple Street Bridge to northbound traffic for nearly all of Sunday.

Avista Utilities crews worked all day repairing a large electrical pole just north of Maple and Dean Avenue.

The teen hit the pole about 12:50 a.m. Northbound lanes were expected to reopen by this morning.

The accident caused a small fire and blew out street-side windows on a neighboring house, said Spokane police Officer Mike McCasland.

Power was out for nearly 4,500 Avista customers, and traffic lights stopped working from Division Street westward, police said.

Most customers soon regained power, but more than 600 were without power until Sunday afternoon, an Avista spokesman said.

The incident started about midnight Saturday, with reports of two teens in a car throwing bottles at other cars on the lower South Hill, McCasland said.

Police followed the car across the bridge and tried to make the stop.

The car continued a few blocks after clipping the pole, McCasland said.

The driver was cited for drunken driving and malicious mischief, McCasland said. The other teen also was arrested.

– Staff reports


Temperatures tie or surpass records

Temperature records were tied or broken across parts of Eastern Washington on Sunday as the thermometer reached the triple digits during an ongoing heat wave.

Sunday night, a thunderstorm ripped through Colville, knocking out power to an estimated 1,400 customers and sparking two small fires, officials said.

A high of 102 degrees at Spokane International Airport tied the record for July 23, which was set in 1959, according to the National Weather Service.

In Coeur d’Alene, a high of 102 degrees fell three degrees shy of the 105-degree record for the date, also set in 1959. Moses Lake and Ephrata set records of 106 and 107, respectively.

Forecasters said at least two more days of extreme heat are expected, with highs in Spokane expected to reach 100 degrees this afternoon and 96 degrees Tuesday.

Later this week, temperatures could drop back into the upper 80s to mid-90s in the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene areas under mostly clear skies.

– Mike Prager