July 17, 2012 in City

Storms bring power outages, heavy rain

From staff reports
 
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Storms brought thunder, lightning, heavy rain and power outages to the Spokane area this morning.

The National Weather Service has issued an advisory for heavy rain until 12:15 p.m. in Northern Lincoln County, Northwestern Spokane County, Ferry County, Stevens County and Okanogan County.

Utilities workers were scrambling to restore power to people throughout the region as weather-related outages cropped up all morning. At one time, about 3,000 households were without power in central Spokane, according to Avista’s power outage map.

The city of Spokane Street Department was asking that motorists treat intersections in which signals are out as four-way stops. The city was reporting dark and blinking signals in Northeast Spokane around 8:20 a.m. Among the intersections affected are: Market at Euclid, Garland and Wellesley; Euclid and Crestline; Indiana and Nevada; and Frederick and Freya.

A line of heavy thunderstorms crashed through Spokane and Lincoln counties this morning with the weather service expecting heavy downpours and lightning ground strikes.

The weather service reported nearly 1,700 lightning strikes in the Spokane to Okanogan regions during the six hours ending at 6 a.m.

Motorists traveling along U.S. Highway 2 between Spokane and Davenport and on Interstate 90 between Post Falls and Sprague were being warned earlier this morning of rapid reductions in visibility and some ponding of water on the roadways.

Secondary roads near steeper terrain will be prone to landslides and areas with poor drainage might become overwhelmed with water. Communities expected to be affected included Reardan, Davenport, Edwall, Spokane and Airway Heights.

A low pressure area along the Washington coast is responsible for moving moist, unstable air northward across the inter-mountain region. That system will continue to bring a threat of showers and thunderstorms until Saturday. The threat ranges from 20 to 30 percent each day.

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