The City of Spokane and area power utilities said Thursday afternoon they are prepared for the strong winds headed for the Inland Northwest.
The City of Spokane released a statement saying their emergency equipment has been “tuned up” and that they have reviewed their response plans.
Avista said Thursday they were in the process of alerting employees they may have a longer workday tomorrow and checked on supplies. Officials said they also are prepared to moved other resources to outage restoration if the storm does knock out power.
“Our number one priority is to safely restore power to our customers as quickly as possible,” explained Debbie Simock, from Avista. “If outages do occur, we’ll work around the clock to make sure everyone gets service restored as quickly as possible.”
Simock recommended folks consider preparing for the windstorm by making sure cell phones are charged and replacing flashlight batteries. Avista tweeted some other recommendations Thursday morning:
Vera Water and Power also said they were prepared to have “all hands on deck” should the storm take down power lines.
“All our fuel tanks are topped and all of our line trucks are serviced,” said Catherine Cronin, from Vera Water and Power. “All of our staff will be available, both inside and outside crews…including customer service.
Cronin said Vera Water and Power is mainly concerned about trees coming down during the upcoming storm.
“This time of year when the ground gets saturated, the trees are very mobile,” explained Cronin. “The root structures are looser in the soil…and the trees can move much more easily.”
The National Weather Service told KREM 2 they did not expect this weather event to be as severe as the wind storm in November of 2015. They said to plan for downed trees, flooding and wind. The agency said the upcoming storms should “not be considered a high impact event” for the Inland Northwest.
NWS warned some trees may have been weakened by wildfires over the summer and could be taken down more easily by the winds.
NWS officials say they can't predict how trees will hold up. There are several charred tree lining Valley Chapel Road. pic.twitter.com/Km2rJLqe4u— Alexa Block (@KREMAlexa) October 13, 2016
To report an outage to Vera Water and Power, they ask you call 509-924-3800 and provide them with as much detail as possible.
To report an outage to Avista, call 800-227-9187 or report them online through your mobile device.
To report an outage to Inland Power and Light, call 877-668-8243.