01/18/2021 | Press release | Archived content
Spokane, Wash. Jan. 18, 2021, 10:00 a.m.: Avista crews and support staff continue restoration efforts on day six of the around-the-clock effort to restore power to those who experienced outages as a result of the windstorm. As of Monday morning, Avista has reached substantial completion of its restoration efforts.
As of 10:00 a.m. Monday, approximately 96% of customers have been restored. The remaining 2,790 number of customer outages are primarily in Spokane, Wash., Coeur d'Alene, Id., and Kellogg, Id. Avista expects all customers in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene to have their power restored by Monday evening. Certain customers in Kellogg may take longer.
Avista remains fully staffed, with 60 line crews, 43 contract crews, 19 vegetation management crews, and 22 mutual aid crews from utilities outside the area, for a total of over 460 people working directly on outage restoration.
Wednesday's historic windstorm wreaked havoc, blowing trees and tree limbs into Avista power poles and lines resulting in a disruption of service to over 70,000 Avista customers. As power is restored across Avista's service territory, reinforcement crews relocate to areas without power. Crews continue to face challenges such as navigating the snow and debris as well as access limitations in some areas.
Restoration efforts will continue until every customer has power restored.
Outage status and estimated restoration times are available on the outage map located at myavista.com/outage.
What customers can do
If customers are still out of power, they can aid in the restoration process by checking their service equipment for needed repairs. All of these repairs need to be made by a licensed electrician before we can safely restore power to the home. If a customer's home sustained damage during this storm, the overhead mast may need attention and repair. The mast is usually located on the roof, where electric service connects from the power pole to the home. Customers should look for an overhead mast that is bent and pulled away from the house, causing a wire to hang, or to see if the bent mast broke the fitting where the wire connects to the electric meter. Customers should also look to see if they have a broken meter fitting that caused an arc or burned meter socket.
Safety during an outage
Avista wants its customers to stay safe. Customers should treat all power lines as if they are energized. Customers should stay away from any downed power lines, not attempt to remove limbs from downed or sagging power lines, and should not drive over power lines. If customers see a downed power line, they should call 911 immediately and then Avista at (800) 227-9187 to report its location.
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.
• 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.
To find a licensed, bonded and insured electrician, customers can visit www.myavista.com/dealer-search.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 395,000 customers and natural gas to 364,000 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 1.6 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.myavista.com.
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