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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Power restored to most customers Friday after thunderstorms wreak havoc on region

“I’m glad I packed an umbrella today,” said Chris Leamons after he hopped a puddle crossing Riverside Avenue in downtown Spokane on Thursday.  (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)

Strong winds on Thursday toppled trees and knocked out power for thousands of people while brief, heavy rain caused flooding in some areas, according to the National Weather Service Spokane.

Power had been restored to most Avista Utilities customers Friday.

A handful of customers were without power Friday night in the Coeur d’Alene area, according to the Avista outage map. More than 300 were without power in northeastern Washington, while over 550 customers had no power on the Palouse.

The Spokane-Coeur d’Alene metro area received around one-half inch Thursday night through Friday morning, while three-quarters of an inch fell a little north of the area, said Andy Brown, meteorologist at the weather service.

Wind gusts measured up to 45 mph Thursday, but based on tree damage, Brown said he suspected winds reached higher than that .

Brown said strong thunderstorms moved through Lewiston Friday, dropping nearly three-quarters of an inch of rain in a short period, creating water over roadways.

The Lewiston Police Department experienced numerous calls for flooding in various areas , according to a city news release. City officials said police, the Public Works Department staff and Lewiston Emergency Management were addressing those issues.

Widespread showers and thunderstorms are not expected in the valleys this weekend, but the mountains of North Idaho and northeastern Washington could see thunderstorms, Brown said.

“The strongest thunderstorms should remain over Idaho, but can’t rule out some stray showers over the Spokane metro area,” he said.

Rain is possible Saturday at the Spokane International Airport, but sunshine is expected to return by Sunday and early next week, as high temperatures reach the 80s, the weather service said.