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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Wintry weather knocks out power for 2,000 homes, drops record snow Saturday night

UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 30, 2019

A dog navigates several inches of snow in his backyard on Glennaire Drive on Spokane’s South Hill on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. (Christopher Anderson)
A dog navigates several inches of snow in his backyard on Glennaire Drive on Spokane’s South Hill on Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019. (Christopher Anderson)

As much as 3 inches of snow sat on the ground in parts of the Spokane area Sunday morning after wintry weather downed trees and knocked out power for more than 2,000 homes throughout the Inland Northwest.

The National Weather Service recorded 1.9 inches of snow at the Spokane International Airport on Saturday, setting new daily and monthly records. It was the first measurable September snowfall in Spokane since 1926.

Another 1.3 inches of snow fell between midnight and 6 a.m. at the airport, setting another daily record, according to the weather service. Overnight temperatures reached a low of 32 degrees, with a wind chill as low as 21 degrees at 1 a.m. when the wind was blowing at about 16 mph.

The extreme weather left about 730 Avista customers without power as of 4:45 p.m. Sunday after crews restored power to more than 2,000 homes overnight, the utility said on Twitter. About 700 of those homes were in the Colville area, where as much as 16 inches of snow fell overnight.

Kootenai Electric said close to 100 customers were affected by an outage in North Idaho at 9 a.m., KHQ reported. No outages were reported as of 11 a.m.

Stevens County dispatchers started receiving reports shortly after 11 a.m. that Verizon voice and data services were down for central and northern areas of the county, said Rick Anderson, the county’s 911 coordinator.

Anderson said sheriff’s deputies were unable to use their laptops in their patrol vehicles because they use Verizon to connect to the internet.

It was not clear if the outage was weather-related or when the issue would be resolved, Anderson said late Sunday afternoon.

Anderson said most areas in the county above 2,500 feet in elevation saw snow this weekend. Avista crews responded to a number of downed trees and power lines in the area when the wind picked up overnight, he said.

The state Department of Transportation said it had four trucks out overnight on Highway 2 and Interstate 90 dealing with fallen trees and branches. Crews also responded to a downed tree on Highway 20 north of Newport.

On Sherman Pass, 3 inches of snow fell Saturday evening after several inches of snow from earlier in the day had melted. The roadway was bare and wet with snow and slush in some places at 6 a.m., according to the Department of Transportation.

High temperatures Saturday and Sunday at the Spokane International Airport also set records. The Saturday high of 45 degrees broke the Sept. 28, 1881 record of 48 degrees, and the coldest Sept. 29 on record was 50 degrees until Sunday, when the high was 37.

The weather service forecast little to no snow accumulation in Spokane throughout Sunday and Monday morning. Meteorologists predicted a 100% chance of rain and snow until 5 p.m. Sunday, followed by a 40% chance of rain and snow overnight. Forecasts showed a low temperature of 33 degrees Sunday night with winds up to 6 mph.

A freeze and frost warning is in effect from 2 to 10 a.m. Monday throughout the Inland Northwest, with temperatures dipping as low as 29 degrees in some areas.

The high temperature for Monday is projected to reach 49 degrees.

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