Avista prepares to restore outages expected during Wednesday’s windstorm

Avista held a press conference on Tuesday, discussing the windstorm that is anticipated to batter the Inland Northwest on Wednesday.

David Howell, Director of Operations, provided an update for the media on preparations Avista is taking.

According to the National Weather Service, Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene will likely see the worst of the winds, whose Wind Advisory was recently upgraded to a High Wind Warning.

Wind Advisory upgraded to a High Wind Warning in the CDA area. NE winds 35 to 45 with gusts to 60 mph expected. #idwxhttps://t.co/fK2RD4onYn pic.twitter.com/VIsUvneMid

— NWS Spokane (@NWSSpokane) November 26, 2019

Even so, Avista still anticipates power outages and possible wind damage in the Greater Spokane Area.

Crews are on standby to make repairs and restore service through Thanksgiving, and Avista says they have internal resources, contracted resources and mutual assistance all ready to provide service. David Howell said that crew members have a unique anticipation for events like this, since this is what they train to do.

“Our interest is, is when he have outages… it’s the largest number of customers as quickly as possible, with a focus on essential services,” said Howell, “so, Police and firefighters are a part of that prioritization process.”

Outages themselves are hard to anticipate, so Avista has no concrete idea of what service areas may be affected.

As for Spokane residents, they urge preparation on their part, as well:

Load up on blankets
Prepare flashlights, batteries
Keep generators outdoors and disconnected from the grid

In the event of a power outage, they suggest the following steps:

Turn off all appliances that were on before an outage
Unplug electronic equipment, including computers
Leave a light or radio on as an alert when power is back
Leave a porch light on to help Avista crews identify homes with outages

Lastly, if there are any outages or downed power lines, customers are urged to call Avista at 1-800-227-9187, or report the issue through the Avista app or online.