By and large, Spokane Valley proper escaped the wrath of two recent windstorms that ripped through Eastern Washington in the past few weeks.
However, as close as Northwood, giant bull pines – some 100 years old – crashed to the ground Saturday evening as Mother Nature whipped up a fury of winds gusting as high as 55 mph. When it was over, hundreds of tree tops fell to the earth while whole trees were uprooted onto fences, cars, homes and power lines.
As a result, Avista Utilities crews – already weary from a similar storm that hit northern Spokane County and other areas on July 23 – went back to work to restore power.
By Wednesday morning, Avista had restored power to all 48,000 that had been impacted by the latest storm.
Avista worked around the clock since Saturday, said Laurine Jue, senior communications manager for the utility. She said that the company worked with contract crews in areas including north Spokane County; Sandpoint, Idaho; and Davenport and Deer Park.
The storm was considered the worst, damage-wise, since the ice storm of 1996.
“It’s an amazing achievement to restore power to all of our customers within a matter of days following the one-two punch we received from Mother Nature,” said Dennis Vermillion, president of Avista Utilities. “Given the magnitude of the damage from these back-to-back storms, I have the deepest respect for all of our employees who were involved in restoration efforts, especially our Avista crews and the contract crews who worked tirelessly in the heat to turn on the lights and get the air conditioning and fans blowing for our customers.”
The rough part, according to Don Kopczynski, is that some folks had to go without power twice.
“I’m grateful for our customers for their patience and support,” he said. “Unfortunately, the same areas were hit hard by both storms. That meant some people had their power on for a matter of days before Saturday’s storm left them in the dark again.”
For more information, visit avistautilities.com/mastdamage or call 800-227-9187.