Lightning struck two houses near Post Falls during a brief but heavy thunderstorm Thursday evening. The houses saw light damage and no one was hurt.
The strikes happened about 20 minutes apart beginning at 7:17 p.m., Kootenai County fire Chief Warren Merritt said.
Smoke was in both houses after the strikes, he said. One house’s attic was damaged, and the other’s circuit breaker tripped, he said.
“We got lucky on this one,” Merritt said.
He described the storm as having heavy rain with thunder and lightning.
Outage near Colville
An area north of Colville saw heavy winds that likely toppled trees into power poles, knocking out power for about 1,700 houses at about 6:30 p.m., said Laurine Jue, spokeswoman for Avista.
Workers had to walk 15 miles of power lines through rough terrain but didn’t see any obvious damage, she said, but power lines are automatically shut down if they are hit, which is the most likely explanation.
Power was restored at about 8:24 p.m.
“I think that’s some of the toughest areas we have,” she said.
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