Schools across the region were open Wednesday for normal operations as the region braced for high winds. Crews from Avista Utilities were responding to 22 outages that had left about 800 customers without power, primarily in Spokane and east of Coeur d’Alene. Inland Power and Light said about 800 of its customers were without power early this morning, but electricity had been restored to most by 7 a.m. Kootenai Electric Cooperative was reporting 136 customers without power in North Idaho. Spokane Schools officials said parents are encouraged to keep their children home if they believe venturing out Wednesday is unsafe. Winds are expected to intensify mid-morning Wednesday with gusts exceeding 50 mph in some areas, according to the National Weather Service/SR. More here.