Avista crews continue assessment and repair work through the night Restoring power as quickly and safely as possible is top priority
Spokane, Wash. Sept. 7, 2020, 9:00 p.m.: Avista crews continue the work of assessing and repairing damage caused by the extended wind storm that began Monday morning and lasted into the evening across Avista’s Washington and Idaho service territory. As of 9:00 p.m. Monday, Avista has restored power to approximately 14,000 of the more than 36,000 customers who were out of power at the peak of the storm. It is expected the restoration efforts will pick up now that the wind has stopped blowing.
All available Avista crews along with 19 contract and 13 vegetation management crews have been deployed in Washington and Idaho to complete the restoration effort. These crews are completing assessment, vegetation management and line work to repair damage caused by the wind storm.
After preliminary assessments, it’s clear that the storm caused damage to both the transmission and distribution systems, with the primary damage involving trees coming into contact with lines and bringing wires down. There were also some areas where poles will need to be replaced.
Avista’s system is currently operating under dry land mode, which is an approach that helps decrease the potential for wildfires and requires our teams to physically patrol certain rural and forested areas before the lines can be re-energized. This can require more time to restore service.
Avista will provide an update on estimated restoration times after additional assessments are complete in the light of day Tuesday. Customers should be prepared for an outage of 1-2 days and seek personal resources as needed. We appreciate their patience during this time as teams work as quickly and safely as possible to restore electric service to all customers.
Reporting an outage
Customers who experience a power outage are encouraged to report it online or through their mobile device at www.myavista.com or by calling (800) 227-9187. Updated outage status information, including estimated restoration times, is also available on Avista’s Website, as well as on Avista’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/avistautilities) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/avistautilities).
What customers can do
Customers can aid in the restoration process by checking their service equipment to identify any of the following scenarios.
- An overhead mast that is bent and pulled away from the house, causing a wire to hang.
- A bent mast broke the fitting where the wire connects to your electric meter.
- A broken meter fitting caused an arc or burned meter socket.
All of these repairs need to be made by a licensed electrician before we can safely restore power to the home.
If customers have received information that power has been restored in their area and their lights are still out, please contact Avista at (800) 227-9187.
Safety during an outage
We want our customers to stay safe. Customers should treat all power lines as if they are energized. Customers should stay away from any downed power lines, not attempt to remove limbs from downed or sagging power lines, and should not drive over power lines. If customers see a downed power line, they should call Avista at (800) 227-9187 immediately to report its location.
Avista suggests customers take the following steps during an outage:
- Turn off all the appliances that were on before the power went out.
- Unplug electronic equipment, including computers.
- Leave a light or radio on as an alert when power has been restored.
- Help Avista crews working in a neighborhood know which homes have power by turning on the front porch light.
- Do not wire an emergency generator into a home’s electrical system, unless there is a disconnect switch to separate generated power from Avista’s distribution system. Backfeed into power lines could injure or kill a lineman working to get electricity restored.
- Use a generator only to run specific appliances and locate it outside so poisonous carbon monoxide fumes do not enter the home
Information about current outages, outage FAQs and safety during an outage can be found at myavista.com/outage.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 395,000 customers and natural gas to 364,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.6 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.myavista.com.
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