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Mutual aid crews to help Avista restore power
Labor-intensive work of rebuilding distribution lines in neighborhoods continues

 

Nov. 20, 2015, 4:30 a.m.: Today line crews from as far away as California and Nevada are joining forces with Avista crews to assist with restoration efforts in the worst natural disaster that Avista has seen in its 126 year history.

Crews from Pacific Gas and Electric in the Bay Area and NV Energy based out of Reno, Nevada drove their line trucks all the way to Spokane. They arrived last night, loaded up their trucks with equipment and will hit the ground this morning. They are extra reinforcements to assist Avista and contract crews that have been working around-the-clock to restore power to more than 180,000 customers who were without power at the height of the storm.

With the added support, a total of 68 crews are now available to work on a rotating basis to restore power as quickly and safely as possible. The 4- or 5-person PG&E and NV Energy crews will work 16 hour shifts. In preparation for their arrival, Avista has reserved 307 hotel rooms, where they will rest in between shifts.  

Avista has now restored power to more than 50-percent of those customers. They’ve also rebuilt the 42 major transmission lines and restored 23 substations that were taken out by the storm.

Now the manpower will shift toward the labor-intensive work of rebuilding the distribution lines that deliver power to homes and businesses.

 

Work will be prioritized:

·         Critical customers are our top priority. These include health and human services such as hospitals, police and fire operations, along with city services like water and sewer.

·         Once critical customers are restored, crews will then work to restore power to the most heavily populated areas.

·         Avista has specifically identified areas where it can get larger blocks of customers up and running.

·         At the same time, tremendous progress is being made in outlying areas of Avista’s 30,000 mile service territory. As these areas are restored, these crews will be redeployed to the hardest hit areas of Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

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. Backfeed 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.

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