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In brief: Wind cuts power to thousands

High winds whipped through the area Sunday, leaving downed power lines behind. As many as 11,000 Avista customers had service disrupted.

Winds damaged a transmission line in Spokane about a mile east of a substation on southbound Highway 195 near the Interstate 90 interchange about 5:30 p.m., Avista spokeswoman Jessie Wuerst said in a news release.

Power was restored to a third of the customers within 5 minutes.

Most of the affected customers, 6,726, were on the South Hill. Power was restored to those neighborhoods by 6:30 p.m., the news release said.

Another 630 were in the North Central area. Shortly after 7 p.m., nearly 350 customers lost power in Sandpoint and another 300 in Pullman. Power hadn’t been restored in these areas by press time.

Smaller outages were reported in Othello, Davenport, Colville, Chewelah, the West Plains, Coeur d’Alene and Hayden.

Customers who lose power can call Avista’s outage line, at (800) 227-9187. Wuerst said it’s helpful to have direct reports from customers.

Series of storms heading this way

A mixture of rain and snow is on the horizon – or maybe more accurately, over the western horizon – for the next several days.

A series of systems moving off the Pacific Ocean and into the Northwest is expected to produce temperatures and precipitation similar to Sunday’s for about four more days, said Greg Koch, of the National Weather Service. But the approaching systems don’t look as powerful as the one that brought snow and rain, along with 45 mph winds, to the Spokane area Sunday.

“They’re lined up, pretty much one after another,” Koch said.

Temperatures will likely be lower than average through Wednesday, but should get around that average mark of 48 degrees by the end of the week. Friday could be warmer and drier, with some sun peeking through the clouds.

Rain could return Saturday.

Fire forces out five residents

Occupants of a two-story home in north Spokane were forced to relocate Sunday after a fire damaged the roof and inside areas on both levels.

The Spokane Fire Department responded to a report of a possible chimney fire at 1634 N. Holliston Road about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, and they arrived to find flames on the roof. They evacuated the family of four who lived on the first floor and determined the tenant of a second-floor apartment was not home.

The fire, which was still under investigation, was put out without any injuries to occupants or firefighters, but the house sustained an estimated $25,000 in damage.

The Red Cross found temporary shelter for the family. The renter will stay with relatives until the house is repaired, fire officials said.

From staff reports

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