Spokane, Wash. Nov. 21, 2015, 4:30 p.m.: The extent of damage and destruction to the utility’s distribution system is becoming more evident as crews continue the monumental task of repairing the hundreds of miles of distribution lines that were destroyed Tuesday night when near hurricane-force winds blew through the region. In their wake, they left the worst natural disaster the company has experienced in its 126 year history.
Avista has restored power to 125,000 of the 180,000 customers who lost power at the height of the wind storm. With 70-percent restored, 55,000 customers remain without power. And given what conditions crews are now experiencing in the field, restoring power to the remaining 30 percent of customers will be challenging work.
Due to the time-consuming and labor-intensive nature of this work -- and the magnitude of devastation – it may be mid-week before the majority of Avista’s customers have power.
Here are a few examples of the type of work that is currently being performed:
· Near Maple and 8th Street in Spokane, 36 power poles were taken down when near hurricane-force winds blew through the region on Tuesday night. Replacing one distribution pole can take a crew up to 6 hours. We have 3 crews onsite and it will take several days to complete this work. This one incident will restore power to about 500 customers.
· Work on the distribution feeder in Spokane’s Glenrose neighborhood started Friday and will take at least two-and-a-half days to repair.
· In another situation, it took a crew 4 hours to restore power to 8 customers.
As we continue to work around the clock, be assured Avista is dedicating every available resource at our disposal to restore power.
· We have all hands on deck and boots on the ground, with 97 crews working on a rotating basis, 24/7.
· Avista has also requested additional support from crews in Montana and British Columbia.
Avista remains committed to restoring your power as quickly and safely as possible.
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