Forceful storm blows into Inland Northwest

Police and fire crews are scrambling tonight responding to dozens of reports of downed power lines and trees caused by an evening storm that swept across Eastern Washington and North Idaho.

Wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour were reported in some areas, along with heavy rain and lightning.

The storm moved into Spokane around 8 p.m., as Pacific storm systems moved east off the Oregon Coast. Two hours earlier, Grant County officials reported a tornado touched down near Moses Lake, damaging a horse barn.

In Spokane County, a fire in trees, likely caused by downed power lines on Mount Spokane Park Drive was reportedly threatening Chaney’s Bottoms-Up Inn and Restaurant, south of the entrance to the state park about 9:30 p.m.

Spokane city fire crews were responding to dozens of calls for downed power lines, as were Spokane County fire district crews. Crews were responding to North Gibson Road in Deer Park, after a tree fell across both residences, dispatchers said.

As the storm moved in to Kootenai County, dispatchers reported downed power lines and trees. Bozanta Drive, near the Hayden Lake Country Club, was completely blocked by a downed tree. Idaho State Department of Transportation official were responding to reports of road signs blowing over roadways.

Avista reported scattered power outages through Eastern Washington, with more than 3,000 customers currently without power. Nearly 1,800 of those customers are from the Pullman area.

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