If you've been putting off any leaf raking until now then your procrastination paid off, as Sunday night's windstorm had winds up to 40 mph that brought down tons of leaves that piled up in drifts like snow. Your fall colors were not the only casualties from the storm, however.
Avista reports at the height of the windstorm falling trees and limbs left nearly 11,000 customers without power across the region. As of Monday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. only 527 customers were without power, with the bulk of them -- 415 -- in the Sandpoint area.
Across the region, Avista and its contractors responded to dozens of locations where pruning trees was necessary to prevent trees from coming into contact with power lines and causing an outage.
Trimming trees during power outages is tough for obvious reasons, but some repair jobs were so big crews simply had to wait for the sun to come up to start re-stringing their lines.
For example, at 19th and Arthur on the South Hill, the wind snapped off the top of a 50 year old Ponderosa Pine blocking the street and taking a tangle of cable and phone lines with it.
Shattered power poles take a long time to replace and many residents woke up to chilly homes that would stay that way well past lunch time.
"The bad news is, they're saying another six hours. Oh my friend just called me and said it was going to be like 10:15. She went online to Avista. I'm going out to get coffee," Teresa White said.
Power on the South Hill has been restored in most places including White's house, while Sandpoint took the brunt of the storm, to the extent that Avista sent extra crews there Monday morning and they hope to have everyone back online by 9 p.m.
So far this year Avista has spent $6.4 million on vegetation management, but they only come through and limb up trees on a five year cycle, so if you see a dead or dying tree near power lines or one that's grown up into power lines, call your utility and someone will come by and see if a little chain-sawing is the answer to your concerns.