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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Avista says power restored to 97% of customers affected by snowstorm

UPDATED: Fri., Oct. 11, 2019

Avista Utilities said Friday it had restored power to 97%, or about 31,000, of the 32,234 customers who lost power during the surprise snowstorm that struck early Wednesday.

The company said 1,124 remain without power. Most of those customers should have power restored by midnight.

Some customers may need to hire a private electrician to fix their service equipment.

Signs of damage may include bent or broken masts – the poles that connect Avista power lines to meters on the sides of homes. Broken equipment may also have caused an arc, burning the socket where Avista attaches its meter.

The company said customers who can’t turn on their lights despite receiving notices that power has been restored should call (800) 227-9187.

Meanwhile, city crews and South Hill residents continued clearing fallen trees and tree limbs from yards, streets, sidewalks and parks on Friday.

In a news release, city spokeswoman Marlene Feist said crews from the street, water, wastewater and code enforcement departments, along with a work crew from the Geiger Corrections Center, were out clearing debris on Friday.

Crews used front-end loaders and garbage trucks to gather and haul away branches that fell during the storm.

Feist said crews had removed debris from nearly 400 locations by noon Friday, including all reported sites where branches were obstructing vehicles. More than 650 problem locations had been reported to the city, she said.

All arterials were clear, and residential streets were passable despite some protruding branches.

Feist said crews were addressing damage in city parks, too, but urged visitors to use caution around any trees or branches that could still fall. There was significant damage to some trees in Manito Park, including a cluster at the west end of Mirror Pond.

The Corbin Art Center at 507 W. Seventh Ave. remained closed Friday because of downed tree limbs. Feist said it was expected to reopen on Saturday.

Downriver Golf Course was open Friday, though all other city courses were closed. Feist said crews would reassess the situation on Saturday, and golfers should call the courses to check if they are open before visiting.

City residents can drop off tree debris at the Waste-to-Energy plant at no cost through Oct. 19. Branches must be cut into pieces 6 feet or shorter.

The facility at 2900 S. Geiger Blvd. is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The usual price for disposing of tree debris is $54.33 per ton.

Feist said 575 citizens had brought in 151 tons of tree debris on Wednesday and Thursday. An average of 58 customers an hour entered the facility on Thursday, with wait times of up to an hour, she said. Long lines continued Friday.

Residents also can dispose of tree debris in their green yard waste bins for curbside pickup. Branches must be smaller than 3 inches in diameter and fit within the bins. A list of licensed arborists can be found on the city’s website.

The city said residents should call 311 to report downed trees blocking roadways.

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