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Downed power line leads to brief bouts of chaos in downtown Spokane

UPDATED: Tue., July 24, 2018, 8:51 p.m.

A power outage shut down traffic lights at the intersection of Maple Street and Fourth Avenue near the east and westbound on and off ramps for Interstate 90 on July 24, 2018. (Ryan Overton / KHQ)
A power outage shut down traffic lights at the intersection of Maple Street and Fourth Avenue near the east and westbound on and off ramps for Interstate 90 on July 24, 2018. (Ryan Overton / KHQ)

A downed power line Tuesday led to outages in downtown Spokane that affected businesses and streetlights and forced hospitals to operate on backup generators.

David Vowels, spokesman for Avista Utilities, said the line was damaged at about 12:15 p.m. at Fourth Avenue and Walnut Street, where a small fire was reported near where the power line fell. He said a cause had not been determined.

The outage initially affected about 1,800 customers, though within an hour, Avista had reduced that number to about 200, according to its online outage map.

The areas affected were from Maple Street near Peaceful Valley to about Tenth Avenue, and from Cannon Street to about Lewis and Clark High School.

Vowels said Avista expected power to be restored to all customers Tuesday afternoon.

Police scanner traffic indicated MultiCare Deaconess Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children on Fifth Avenue experienced outages before backup generators kicked in.

A spokeswoman for Shriners said at about 1:30 p.m. that power was still out, but backup generators were working.

Media reports showed multiple vehicle collisions at downtown intersections where lights weren’t working.

No serious injuries were immediately reported.

Officers were called in to direct traffic at some intersections, and to install temporary stop signs.


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