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Utilities working to restore power to area homes

UPDATED: Thu., July 24, 2014, 3:24 p.m.

UPDATE 3:00 p.m.

Avista Utilities said Thursday afternoon it was still working to restore power to roughly 15,000 area customers whose lights remain off following Wednesday’s storms.

The hardest hit areas are in north Spokane and Deer Park, according to the company’s online count of power outages.

Subcontractors are working alongside Avista crews restoring approximately 35 utility poles that were reportedly knocked down in yesterday’s severe weather.

Customers who wish to report an outage may do so by calling the company at 800-227-9187.

Kootenai Electric Cooperative said earlier Thursday afternoon it had restored power to all but 1,000 of its customers. Those without power were primarily in the Athol and Hayden Lake areas, according to a news release. They planned to restore all power by nightfall Thursday.

Original story continues below.

Avista Corp. is reporting about 18,000 customers still were without power as of 10 a.m. That is down from 27,000 as of 5:30 a.m.

Kootenai Electric Cooperative had made good progress in restoring power as well. Wednesday night it had more than 6,000 outages. That number was trimmed to 1,300 at 10 a.m.

Inland Power and Light Co. reported 11,000 outages at 11 a.m.

The largest numbers of households without power were in north Spokane, Deer Park, Davenport and Chewelah. Widespread outages also remained in Sandpoint.

Avista crews worked through the night restoring power to more than 10,000 customers, a company news release said. At the height of the outage, about 40,000 customers were without power.

Transmission and distribution poles have been damaged, as have substations, the release said.

Customers can view outages status on Avista’s website but estimated restoration times may be inaccurate. Those times will be updated mid-day today, the release said. The outage status reports are accurate.

Customers can call 800-227-9187 to report outages but may experience longer hold times because of call volume. Outages can also be reported online using this link.

Avista reminds people to stay away from downed power lines and treat all of them as thought they are carrying electrical current. The company also offers the following tips during a power outage:

  • Turn off all appliances you think were on before the power went out.
  • Unplug electronic equipment, including computers.
  • Leave a light or radio on to let you know when service returns
  • Don’t wire an emergency generator into your home electrical system. Backfeed into power lines could injure or kill a lineman working to get electricity restored.
  • Use generators only to run specific appliances and locate them outside so carbon monoxide fumes don’t enter your home.
  • Stay away from downed power lines.
  • To help inform crews about which homes have power, leave front porch light on.

Spokane fire crews respond to more than 250 calls

The Spokane Fire Department and its Combined Communication Center received more than 250 calls for service from 3:30 to around 10 p.m. Wednesday. Many of the incidents involved power lines and trees downed by the high winds.

Fire crews also responded to a fire in a single-family residence at 3424 W. Lyons that started as a result of the storm. The home is uninhabitable due to damage the fire did to the attic, the fire department said.

Damage from the storm has left many trees in unstable conditions and power lines down.

Two people injured by falling tree at Lake Pend Oreille campground

Two people were injured by a falling tree at Green Bay Campground on Lake Pend Oreille during Wednesday’s storm.

The Sagle Fire Department took a man and a woman to the Bonner General Hospital around 6:30 p.m. The man had minor injuries, but the woman’s injuries were more extensive, said the department’s Capt. Jason Cordle.

The individuals’ names and the woman’s current condition were not available.

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