Monday’s blast from Mother Nature was just another June storm for the National Weather Service.
For area residents, heavy thunderstorms hit the region hard in the early evening, leaving several Spokane neighborhoods without power and keeping firefighters busy battling lightning-sparked blazes.
“We’ve just had showers and thundershowers covering a greater area tonight. It’s not really that bad,” said Lyle Hammer, National Weather Service meteorologist in Spokane.
“We should anticipate lightning like this, this time of year.”
But the storm surprised more than 3,000 Washington Water Power Co. customers, who lost electricity to their homes for several hours.
Lightning knocked out service to Spokane Industrial Park and neighborhoods north of Trent about 6:30 p.m. and homes south of the Spokane River near Upriver Dam about 8:30 p.m.
There were no reports of fires or injuries from downed wires.
“Given the severity of the storm, the outages were very minor,” said WWP spokeswoman Susan Nielsen.
No major weather-related traffic accidents were reported.
In the Valley, lightning was blamed for a garage fire about 8:30 p.m. near Valley View Golf Course.
The blaze at 23026 Oldenberg Lane caused minor damage to the garage and home.
Arriving firefighters knocking on the home’s front door were the first to tell a woman inside the house that her garage was on fire. She was not injured.
Minutes later, Valley firefighters rushed to another lightning-caused fire - a burning barn near Liberty Lake. Flames engulfed the barn and a single-wide trailer at Eighth and Henry by the time firefighters arrived. They were destroyed, officials said.
Flames shooting near power lines forced WWP to cut power to the area.
In North Idaho, dispatchers for the Idaho State Police and other law enforcement agencies said the storm caused no major problems.
Anywhere from a trace to 1.2 inches of rain fell Monday night in the region, the Weather Service said.
The South Hill and Mead area were hardest hit.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.