Colder weather is heading into the Inland Northwest even as thousands of residents cope with life without power and heat.
The National Weather Service on Thursday said low temperatures in the pre-dawn hours Friday morning could drop to 18 in Spokane and 21 in Coeur d’Alene.
“The cold is going to become a significant concern,” Spokane Assistant Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said Thursday.
In Spokane and Coeur d’Alene, highs Friday should be in the middle 30s, rising to the low 40s by Sunday.
Lows will moderate into the lower and middle 20s Saturday and Sunday in Spokane.
Coeur d’Alene temperatures at night should be a few degrees above those in Spokane, but highs in the Lake City will be about the same.
Emergency officials are warning people to be careful as they use generators to power their homes. Eight people in Spokane and Spokane Valley have been taken to hospitals for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Three people in a Shadle-area home were taken to a hospital late Wednesday night. They were running a gas-powered generator in the basement, according to the Spokane Fire Department.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department responded to two incidents Thursday. A man called 911 to report that his wife was ill and their carbon monoxide detector was going off when firefighters arrived, department spokeswoman Melanie Rose said.
The couple, who had been running a generator in their attached garage, were both taken to a hospital.
Three people were sickened Thursday afternoon and one was able to call 911 for help. Firefighters carry carbon monoxide detectors with them and detected such high levels of carbon monoxide at the front door that they had to put on their face masks before going inside, Rose said.
The three residents were unconscious. “We had to carry them out of the house,” Rose said.
The family had been burning charcoal briquettes inside the home, she said.
Cold temperatures also increase the risk of pipes freezing. People should let water trickle out of faucets, and open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to get inside. Water pipes can be insulated with “pipe sleeve” insulation or newspapers.
Forecasters are calling for a renewed chance of snow and rain starting Monday night. They are pegging the chance of snow and rain in Spokane at 40 percent Monday night and 70 percent on Tuesday.
The American Red Cross operated three shelters Wednesday night, which saw 30 occupants, said Megan Snow, a spokeswoman with the agency. But the shelters are set up to house many more, she said.
“If you know those that need a place to stay, a warm meal, we have limited shower facilities – they are available – but again, warmth, power, a place to stay, please come to a Red Cross shelter; that’s why we’re here,” Snow said.
The Red Cross shelters operating are located at:
The Red Cross was looking into opening a shelter in the north part of Spokane County, where tree damage was extensive, Snow said.
In addition, there are warming centers in place at the Salvation Army in Spokane, 222 E. Indiana Ave., Hope House at 113 W. Third Ave. for single women, Crosswalk at 525 W. Second Ave. for those under 18, and the House of Charity at 23 W. Pacific Ave. for men and women.
Power strips were added at the Spokane Public Library downtown, as well as the East Side and Shadle branches. They’ll be open again on Friday during the day for charging, Snow said.
In addition, Spokane Fire Station 4 in Browne’s Addition and Spokane Fire Station 18, at 120 E. Lincoln Road near Division Street in north Spokane, will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday for electronic device charging, as well as the Spokane COPS stations in Shadle and downtown.
The Sinto Senior Center, at 1124 W. Sinto Ave., also will be open for the public to charge their devices, Snow said.
The Union Gospel Mission, at 1224 E. Trent Ave., will serve hot meals Friday, Saturday and Sunday for those affected by the storms. Breakfast will be served from 7 to 8 a.m., lunch from 12:30 p.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner from 6 to 7 p.m. daily.
Warm meals also are available for purchase in the cafeterias of Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center, St. Luke’s Hospital and Holy Family Hospital, Snow said.
Staff writers Mike Prager, Kip Hill and Nina Culver contributed to this report.
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