Residents spend five days in the dark awaiting repairs from last week’s windstorm

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Inland Northwest continues to pick up the pieces from Wednesday’s windstorm.

Thousands are in the dark, trees are still on top of houses, and in some places, power lines are still down. Some people have been without power now for five days, and generators are still running as people wait for the lights to come back on.

Avista is working around the clock to get the light back on for thousands in Spokane County. In the Rockwood neighborhood, one side of the road got their lights turned back on a few days ago, but when you get across the street, everyone on the other side is still left in the dark.

Avista says that the latest the power will be back on is on Monday.

RELATED: Power outages should be fixed by Monday at the latest, says Avista

Ernie Krueger has been through it all — from the 1996 ice storm to the 2015 windstorm…

“Here we go again,” said Krueger.

… All the way to the 2021 windstorm.

“The neighbor’s trees across the street from my house — both trees came down in a gust of wind at the same time, and the power went out at that time,” Krueger recounted.

Thankfully, his house wasn’t damaged.

As he sat in the dark, Krueger needed to quickly get his borrowed generator up and running.

“We have generator in the back of the house that is big enough that it runs a space heater for my 97-year-old mother-in-law who lives with us, so we’re getting by alright,” said Krueger.

His neighbors also had no power, and they were also down a couple cars.

“My poor neighbor, he had two cars out in the driveway and the tree fell across both of them,” Krueger explained.

People in this Rockwood neighborhood were also stuck for a few hours because trees blocked both exits before the city moved them.

The biggest question on people’s minds, though — when will they get power?

Avista came by, and Krueger says a worker told him power might be back on tomorrow, or even Tuesday. The company says crews are having a hard time getting into backyards without their trucks to fix poles and power lines.

You would expect Krueger to be frustrated. Instead, he’s thankful.

“You have to remember that these people working for Avista, they’re working huge hours in the dark and in the cold and in dangerous conditions and stuff,” Krueger said. “Cut them some slack. They have got it a lot harder than we do. We’ll get through this.”

Krueger is preparing for a couple more days without power, and he’s doing it with a smile.

“You just have to get your attitude right,” explained Krueger. “You have to say, ‘Okay, we’re going to be a couple more days. So let’s just make the best of it because it ain’t doing any good to get mad about it.'”