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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Washington

Thousands in Eastern Washington, North Idaho lose power in storm

UPDATED: Sun., May 31, 2020

By Jonathan Brunt and Kip Hill The Spokesman-Review

Thousands of Inland Northwest residents lost power in a fast-moving storm Saturday night.

Power had been mostly restored as of late Sunday morning, with most of the rain and storms traveling north into Canada. Temperatures also fell after a hot, muggy Saturday.

The storm forced the closure of state Highway 261 north of Washtucna, Washington and state Highway 260 south of Washtucna because of downed power lines.

Avista Utilities reported about 4,000 people without power as of 11 p.m. Of those, 1,700 were in Colville. By 11:30 a.m. Sunday, the utility reported 81 customers without power in Stevens County.

Northern Lights Inc., which serves Bonner and Boundary counties in North Idaho as well as some parts of Montana, reported nearly 2,600 customers without power, including about 600 on the east side of Priest Lake. The utility had restored power to about 1,000 customers as of late Sunday morning, but hundreds more remained without service, according to the utility.

Inland Power and Light reported 240 customers without power after 18 power poles were destroyed overnight in Lincoln County, northwest of Ritzville. Crews were working to repair them and restore power, the utility said.

Kootenai Electric Cooperative reported 100 customers without power overnight. Power had been restored as of Sunday morning. The Pend Orielle Public Utility District also reported numerous outages.

The storm brought heavy rain to some areas, but little in others. Rainfall totaling more than an inch was reported in areas in Spokane, Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille and Okanogan counties, according to the National Weather Service. Totals in Spokane city limits and surrounding areas varied widely, with about 0.7 inches reported at Fairchild Air Force Base and 1.09 inches reported in Chattaroy.

The Spokane airport recorded a 58-mph gust of wind around 7:30 p.m. A gust of 68 was recorded near Mattawa, Washington about 6 p.m., Pelatti said.

Reporter Maggie Quinlan contributed to this report.

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