Spokane families assess damage in day following record-breaking snowstorm

SPOKANE, Wash. — Many people spent Saturday taking in the damage from Friday’s snowstorm. Toppled trees and snapped power lines left many in the dark. Some are still without power one day later. 

The City of Spokane got reports of at least 100 downed trees, many blocking roads.  

READ: City of Spokane receives 100 reports of downed trees morning after fall snowstorm

Others became major obstacles for people trying to leave their homes. That was the case for one family on the South Hill, when a tree fell just inches from their house. 

“I came out here and opened this front door with the glass screen and this one just went ‘boom,’ right in front of me,” said Branden Syrotchen. 

He says the tree had always been pretty sturdy, but Mother Nature had other plans. 

“About every hour or so I would hear a crack and I would look, ‘oh, there’s another tree down,’” said Syrotchen. 

Luckily, others fell more than a few inches from his front door. 

“In my yard, that’s probably about 15 branches in between some smaller than this, some a lot larger,” said Syrotchen. “I’m imagining that if this happened here, it happened a lot of other places, too. 

Trees came down all across the county, including at Southeast and 11th where one toppled onto a trailer. Another, at 21st and Freya, outside Tagen Clift’s house. 

“Very lucky because my grandma lives with us and she’s on oxygen so it would not go very well if it went through the house and we lost power anything,” said Clift. 

Clift said he didn’t hear the tree fall. He said his mother told him about it, but was still shocked by the sight. The toppled tree has his family planning for the next snowstorm, whenever that may come.

“I think we’re going to get a lot of flashlights and candles and stuff and just be very precautious and have a backup plan for everything,” Clift explained.

Another tree was found leaning on a wire near Sherman and Hartson. All those trees aren’t going to be gone over night. 

“This is all just a process that’s just going to take several days to manage and we’ll work through it and we just ask for people’s patience,” said City Spokesperson Marlene Feist. 

Feist said they’re first priority is to clear the trees that are traffic hazards and block major arterials.

As far as clearing the roads of snow, Feist said snow plows are working on secondary arterials and residential areas.

The City will get rid of trees blocking the roads, but if it’s on your property, you’ll need to take care of it. 

“I’ve lived here for 14 years and I’m like, I don’t have a lot of need for lumberjacking,” said Syrotchen. “I’m going to find a friend with a chain saw or go buy a chain saw.” 

While Syrotchen plans his clean up, he’s just thankful that his family’s safe. 

“I’m really happy that it didn’t hit my house. That’s great. That’s the best part,” said Syrotchen. 

If you find a tree in the road, you’re asked to call 311. If a tree is on a power line, call your utility company.

READ: Spokane Police respond to at least 66 crashes in first day of fall snowstorm