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

More than 4,500 in Spokane still without power five days after windstorm

UPDATED: Sun., Jan. 17, 2021

Crews worked around the clock for the fifth day straight Sunday to restore electricity to the Inland Northwest after a windstorm last Wednesday left tens of thousands without power and toppled hundreds of trees.

As of 5 p.m., a little more than 4,500 Avista Corp. customers were still without power, according to the utility’s website. That was down from 7,300 customers late Sunday morning, and down from the storm’s peak outage of 70,000 customers without power.

Shortly after the storm, more than 100,000 households in the Inland Northwest were without power. An estimated 133 trees fell in city parks, with more potentially hazardous leaning trees.

Initial assessments from Avista the day after the storm suggested power might not be returned to some South Hill neighborhoods until Sunday evening. In a statement Sunday, the utility said some customers would need to wait until Monday for service to be restored.

Avista called in additional crews to help with hundreds of power outages, some traveling from as far as Sacramento, a news release said Sunday.

“As we enter day five of our all-hands-on-deck restoration effort in the wake of Wednesday’s windstorm, I want to acknowledge the tremendous support we’ve received from our communities,” wrote Dennis Vermillion, president and CEO of Avista, in a statement. “We are grateful for your patience, encouragement and outreach. We plan and prepare for events such as this, but each storm is unique and you can never fully predict the extent of the damage that will occur.”

Kootenai Electric Cooperative had about 15,000 customers without power at its peak. As of Sunday evening, 14 customers were still without power.

At its peak on Wednesday afternoon, Inland Power had more than 20,000 customers without power. As of Sunday evening, only seven customers were without power in Spokane and Lincoln counties, according to Inland Power’s website.

Northern Lights Inc. had 51 customers still without power Sunday evening, down from the 19,500 at the storm’s peak.

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