Inland NW braces for another storm

Inland NW braces for another storm

Power crews across the Inland Northwest are gearing up for the threat of severe weather as storms blow through the region for the third time in the last month.

Steven Van Horn, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service says things could get windy later this evening.

"Forty miles per hour is definitely possible," Van Horn said. "Probably similar in timing somewhere around tomorrow evening we'll see another round of storms coming through the area."

Van Horn said strong winds are possible with this storm but to have three very damaging storms in a row.

"Yeah that would be fairly rare sequence of events," he said.

An Avista spokesperson said Tuesday afternoon that many of their day shift crews are staying on as the severe weather approaches, with crews spending the afternoon packing up supplies and preparing for spending the evening in the field restoring power.

Avista says they have crews scattered throughout the area waiting to respond to outages. They are asking folks to be ready, they want you to have things like flashlights, candles, and a charged cell phone in case the power does go out as you can't really rely on land lines when severe weather hits.

Avista is also reminding people to keep your refrigerator closed if the power goes out to keep your food cool and if you have a backup generator when your power does go out they want you make sure it is set up properly and won't feed electricity back into the system.

Kootenai Electric, which is also ready for outages in their area, is also asking customers to be ready if the lights go out.

The biggest concern from the last several storms was knocked down trees and damaged homes and property around north Spokane County, so cleanup preparations are already being made for this storm.

David Turner with All Seasons Tree Service says he's stayed very busy removing downed trees and he's also taking down leaning trees as well.

"If they don't fail over these next few storms, they're going to fail this winter with the snow pack on top of them," said Turner.

Turner says look to the base of the tree to see if previous wind has weakend the root system.

"If that hump is higher than it was before the storms then you got a couple of broken roots down under the ground somewhere," he said.

All Seasons Tree Services said getting your trees thinned will help prevent those branches from acting like a sail and catching that wind. Also, what type of soil you have could play a factor in if a tree will topple. The sandier the soil the easier it will be for those to come down.

At Lowe's Home Improvement portable generators are back on the shelves.

"We went through about a dozen in the first two hours. We just weren't prepared for a storm of that size," said Lowe's department manager Brandon Klaus.

Klaus added many homeowners are not wanting to get stuck in the dark again.

"You're gonna want to know what size unit you're going to need to put into your home to back up your appliances that you're running and your current power flow," he said.