Spokane, Wash., July 24, 2014. 9pm update: Reinforcement crews continue to arrive to help relieve and assist Avista crews who have been working around the clock to restore power. Tonight 14 contract crews from as far away as Boise and Bozeman are working alongside Avista employees in the field. And they’re making tremendous progress. At this hour, 68 percent of the nearly 40,000 customers who were without power at the height of the outage have had their power restored and they continue to drop.
As restoration efforts roll into the second night, safety continues to be a priority. Avista support crews from Pullman, Coeur d’Alene, Grangeville and St. Maries, along with contract crews, are relieving Avista crews who need some much-needed sleep. They will return tomorrow rested and ready to continue restoration efforts.
Damage assessment continues, and restoration times are being adjusted accordingly. However, the scope and scale of the damage from yesterday’s high winds remains:
· At least 35 distribution poles must be replaced in Spokane and Deer Park.
· Approximately 25 transmission poles are down in Spokane, Davenport and Deer Park.
· It can take a 4 to 6 person crew up to 6 hours to replace a transmission pole and up to 14 hours to replace a distribution pole.
· Transmission poles create the backbone of our electric system. They are the “highways” that feed the distribution lines, or “streets,” that feed power to individual homes and businesses. Both are critical to delivering power to customers.
In storms like this one, Avista needs to repair its major infrastructure such as substations and transmission lines allowing them to bring power back on to larger numbers of customers. There may be multiple repairs at different locations on the system that are required before power can be restored in some locations.
Customers can view outage status on Avista’s website at www.avistautilities.com
, but due to the extensive damage caused by the storm estimated restoration times will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.
When calling to report outages customers may experience longer hold times because of call volume. Customers can also report outages online at www.avistautilities.com and through their mobile device.
If customers see that their neighbors power has been restored and theirs hasn’t Avista suggests to call 800-227-9187 to report the outage.
Avista appreciates our customers’ continued patience through this event. Avista crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to restore power to all customers.
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. 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.
The Avista logo is a trademark of Avista Corporation.
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