Heavy snow leaves hundreds without power

Hundreds without power in North Idaho

CAREYWOOD, Idaho - Heavy snowfall felled trees and left homes in the dark and the cold Wednesday. Hundreds of people are without power and many could be without it until Thursday. 

Avista's map shows several outages throughout the region, including more than 50 spots in the Sagle and Sandpoint areas.

Northern Lights has power outages from the Washington border, to the Canadian border, and into Canada. Currently, 6,000 customers are without power. 

Trees, heavy with snow, are snapping power lines and blocking access to roads, making it difficult for crews to restore power.

“We're doing the best we can,” said Mark Contor, Northern Lights Inc. Engineer Operations Manager. “Our crews are working 32 hours straight, and they get eight hours off.”

The phones at Northern Lights Inc. rang off the hook Wednesday as customers called in.

The snow is making it difficult for crews to get the access the need.

“A lot of our access is rural, so it's a lot of snow machines, snow shoe, hiking, so that's some of our biggest difficulties,” said Contor. 

Kxly4 caught up with a crew near Careywood, outside local resident Don Wood's house. Wood came home from work Tuesday night to no power.

He's fortunate enough to have a wood stove, and a generator, which keeps his freezer full of elk and deer meat cold.

Outside his home, crews cleared trees, and replaced a fuse, and got the power back up and running.

Crews still have a lot to repair.

“We're hoping to have the majority of them back on tomorrow,” said Contor. “We'll still have some stragglers on the little taps here and there.”

Both Avista and Northern Lights Inc. want to remind customers to stay away from downed lines.