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Avista Crews Assessing and Repairing Damaged Power System
Approximately 34,000 customers are without electrical service at 7 a.m.; Next update planned for 4:30 p.m.


Spokane, Wash., Aug. 3, 2014:  Avista crews worked throughout the night to assess and begin repairs to restore power to the remaining 34,000 customers who lost power due to damage to Avista’s power grid from the severe winds and thunderstorms that passed through the area early Saturday evening. At the height of the outage, over 48,000 Avista customers were without power.

  • Preliminary assessment indicates damage primarily to transmission and distribution lines.
  • Crews report that the majority of damage appears to have come from large tree branches coming into contact with lines.
  • Especially hard hit are areas in north central Spokane, Deer Park, Colbert and Colville, Wash., and Sandpoint and Priest River areas in Idaho.
  • Avista crews from areas not affected by the storm along with contract and mutual aide crews from Boise, Moses Lake and areas in Eastern Washington are relocating to assist crews in areas hardest hit.
  • Due to the extensive damage caused by the storm, restoration times are still being assessed.
  • Crews will continue to work around the clock until power is restored to all customers.
  • We greatly appreciate our customers’ patience through this event. Avista crews are working as quickly and safely as possible.
Safely restoring power
In storms such as this one, Avista needs to repair its major infrastructure such as substations and transmission lines first. Once those repairs have been made, crews must do a visual inspection of the lines to make sure they are not touching the ground, trees, or other obstacles. This is especially important in the dry, summer conditions we’re experiencing. Once that is complete, power lines into neighborhoods can be repaired and re-energized.

There may be multiple repairs at different locations on the system that are required before power can be restored in some locations.

Outage information on the Web
Customers can view outage status on Avista’s website at www.avistautilities.com. Customers can also report outages online at www.avistautilities.com  and through their mobile device or by calling 800-227-9187.

Safety First
Stay away from downed power lines. Never touch or attempt to remove fallen limbs from downed or sagging power lines. Treat all power lines as if they are energized or are carrying electrical current. Remember to call Avista immediately at (800) 227-9187 to report the location of the downed power line.

During a power outage
  • Avista suggests customers take the following steps:
  • Turn off all the appliances you think were on before your power went out.
  • Unplug your electronic equipment, including computers.
  • Leave a light or radio on to let you know when you have service again.
  • Don't wire an emergency generator into your home electrical system unless you have a disconnect switch to separate your generated power from Avista’s distribution system. Backfeed into power lines could injure or kill a lineman working to get electricity restored.
  • Use your generator only to run specific appliances, and locate it outside so poisonous carbon monoxide fumes don't enter your home.
  • If you see a downed power line, stay away. Treat all power lines as if they are carrying electrical current, and never touch or move one.
  • To help Avista crews working in a neighborhood know which homes have power, turn on your front porch light.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 366,000 customers and natural gas to 326,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.5 million.  Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.avistautilities.com.

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