Windstorm Downs Trees, Interrupts Power All Over Region

14 hours ago

Several large old trees tumbled in Spokane city parks, including these in Audubon Park.
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

UPDATED: 8:25 pm 

Utility crews are working overtime in eastern Washington and northern Idaho, picking up the pieces from Wednesday’s windstorm.

High winds knocked down trees and power lines from the Canadian border down to the Palouse.

In north Idaho, Erika Neff from Kootenai Electric Cooperative says, in the early evening, crews were trying to bring back power for more than 15,000 customers from nearly 50 outages.

“We have 11 crews working right now and we’re calling in more contact crews. As they assess damage, we are asking our members to be prepared for outages that last throughout the night and possibly to multiple days," she said. "It’s really widespread throughout our system and we serve up from about Athol all the way down to the Worley area. So, throughout Kootenai County we’re seeing outages," she said.

She says those outages could last into Thursday and even beyond.

Same message for Avista customers. As of Wednesday night, the utility had crews working to restore power for about 57,000 customers.

In Spokane, huge trees were uprooted in soggy soil. Some fell on homes and cars.

This tree was one of several that fell at Spokane's Downriver Golf Course.
Credit Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Trees fell over roads and into houses. In Spokane, city officials say the most severe damage is on the South Hill and in the northwest neighborhoods. Comstock and Audubon Parks are among those lost huge old trees, many tumbling over in the soggy soil, roots and all.  Trees fell into fences and the parking lot at Downriver Golf Course.

City workers from several departments responded, cleaning up branches and other debris. Tree companies were busy cutting up trunks and branches and removing them from rights-of-ways and yards. Some city streets and private driveways are still blocked.

If you’re still without power and haven’t reported it, utility officials ask you to call and let them know.