Spokane, Wash. Nov. 19, 2015, 10:00 p.m.: Avista continues to make progress to repair damage caused by the devastating wind storm that struck eastern Washington and Northern Idaho Tuesday afternoon. At this time, there are about 85,000 customers without power. That means that Avista has restored power to more than 50% of the approximately 180,000 customers that were impacted at the height of the wind storm. All 42 major transmission lines and 23 substations have been restored. The critical backbone of our transmission system is now up and running.
Now the majority of our workforce can shift to the labor-intensive work to rebuild our distribution lines. To help with this effort, assistance has arrived from other utilities, including three crews from Bonneville Power Administration, 13 crews from Pacific Gas and Electric in California, and two from NV Energy in Reno, Nevada. Friday morning, a total of 68 crews will be deployed on a rotating basis.
Here’s how restoration efforts will continue to proceed:
· Critical customers are our top priority – these include entities that serve critical community infrastructure, such as hospitals, schools, police and fire operations.
· Crews will then work to restore power to those areas with the densest populations.
· Tremendous progress has already been made in the outlying areas of our 30,000 mile service territory. As these outlying areas are restored, we will redeploy those crews to our hardest hit areas of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.
Avista and the assisting mutual aid crews will work around the clock until full restoration of power to all customers has occurred. As they undertake this effort – the safety of the community and their employees will be the top priority.
Important Safety Note: As clean-up continues, stay clear of fallen trees and other objects that may have downed power lines hidden among the debris. These lines could still be energized and cause extreme injury if contact is made.
The next media update is planned for 4:30 a.m. Nov. 20, 2015.
Safety during a power outage
Avista suggests customers take the following steps during an outage:
- Turn off all the appliances that were on before the power went out.
- Unplug electronic equipment, including computers.
- Leave a light or radio on as an alert when power has been restored.
- Help Avista crews working in a neighborhood know which homes have power by turning on the front porch light
- 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.
- Do not wire an emergency generator into a home’s electrical system, unless there is a disconnect switch to separate generated power from Avista’s distribution system. Back feed into power lines could injure or kill a lineman working to get electricity restored.
- Use a generator only to run specific appliances and locate it outside so poisonous carbon monoxide fumes do not enter the home.
Reporting an outage
Customers who experience a power outage are encouraged to report it online or through their mobile device at www.avistautilities.com or by calling (800) 227-9187. Updated outage status information is also available on Avista’s Website, and information can be found on Avista’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/avistautilities) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/avistautilities
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