Remembering the 2015 windstorm four years later

On this day in 2015, a windstorm pummeled the Inland Northwest – snapping trees, strewing debris across homes and roads, and knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people.

Those turbulent winds lasted a few hours.

“We’ve been out here at SpokAnimal, just watching this roof behind me keep peeling further and further back,” former KXLY4 News reporter John Hendricks said.

When it passed, people began to understand – this was just the start of the storm’s impact.

“We still hear the constant echo of ambulances, police cars, firetrucks responding to calls for service,” our Jeff Humphrey reported.

Two people died, and some homes were destroyed.

“It was pretty ugly, big tree through the house,” said homeowner Steve Lamp, pointing across his living room. “It came right on the other side of the wall and took out the bathroom and bedroom and the flooring.”

The days that followed were dark and cold for many. Avista Utilities worked around the clock to repair hundreds of damaged lines, and restored power to thousands.

“It is so eerie being out in the middle of a neighborhood,” said former KXLY reporter Allie Norton, illuminated only by her camera light, “and not having a single light other than the one we are providing.”

Slowly, though, the lights started to come back on – and homeowners began picking up the pieces.

“That was beautiful,” said Lamp. “Having good insurance was wonderful.”

Spokane, of course, has since rebuilt and restored. Still, memories of the 2015 windstorm event will forever remain.

“Every time it’s windy there’s a couple tall trees still around on the property that make me nervous,”said Lamp.