Storms leave school closures, power outages in wake
Friday morning dawned with school closures and power outages as the Inland Northwest continued to brace for more snow or freezing rain.
Many cities around the Inland Northwest saw record levels of snowfall Thursday, including Spokane, with 6 inches at Spokane International Airport tying a record set in 1950. Other records were set in Mullan (6.7 inches); Wenatchee (5.3 inches) and Ritzville (6 inches).
The National Weather Service is predicting mostly rain today and tonight for the Spokane and Coeur d’Alene area. However, light snow and brief freezing rain is possible before snow levels climb to 4,000 feet or higher.
Some 481 customer of Avista, stretching from St. Maries to Lewiston and Moscow were without power Friday morning, mostly due to the weather. For more information, visit Avista’s power outage list.
By Friday morning, the city of Spokane had 60 pieces of snow removal equipment out clearing streets, a city news release said. Crews are working in the arterials and downtown area. Crews are plowing to the middle of the street to maintain on-street parking.
Eight plow and grader teams are working in residential hill routes, numbered 20 and above on the route map. On the south, they will work in routes 20, 21 and 24 first. On the north they are working in routes 22 and 23.
The city remains under a Stage 2 Snow Declaration. The city will continue snow removal efforts 24 hours a day until crews have plowed all arterials and residential streets, the release said. Private contract graders have been called in to supplement city crews.
To check the progress, visit the city’s snow plowing map. This map is scheduled to be updated at 25 and 55 minutes past each hour, according to the city streets department.
The weather closed many schools and colleges around the region, including Spokane and Mead school districts and Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Lakeland schools in Idaho.
The Central Valley School District is running two hours late.
Gonzaga University opened Friday, along with Washington State University’s Pullman and Spokane campuses. However, the Community Colleges of Spokane are closed, along with North Idaho College, Lewis-Clark State College in Coeur d’Alene and the University of Idaho’s Coeur d’Alene campus. UI’s Moscow campus delayed opening until 10 a.m.
Eastern Washington school district delays and closures are listed at the ESD101 website.
After the weather closed down runways at Sea-Tac Airport in Seattle for de-icing Thursday, operations appeared to have returned to normal on Friday. The airport website reported all runways were open. However, flight cancellations have occurred. Visit Spokane International Airport’s website for arrival or departure updates. To check the latest updates from Sea-Tac, visit the airport website.