Avista crews continue restoration efforts following October snowstorm The majority of customers expected to be restored by Sunday evening

October 25, 2020

Spokane, Wash. Oct. 25, 2020, 10:00 a.m.:  Avista crews continue to make progress restoring power following Friday’s snowstorm. As of 10:00 a.m. Sunday, Avista has restored power to 19,834, or approximately 90%, of the 22,000 customers who lost power at the height of the snowstorm. A remaining 2,166 customers are without power. 

Currently, Avista has all available resources focused on those customers who are still out of power. We will respond to all incidents reported to us, with the priority today getting power restored and then addressing other incidents related to our lines and infrastructure. This means customers could see Avista crews move through an area without addressing a reported incident as they shift to an area where a customer is out of power. In these freezing temperatures, crews are working as quickly and safely as possible to get the power back on.

“We thank our customers for their patience, particularly as the cold temperatures makes this outage challenging,” Dennis Vermillion, Avista president and CEO said. “We are focused on restoring power quickly and safely and providing updates for customers along the way.”

Restoring the remaining 2,166 customers is time-consuming because of the nature of the damage to individual service lines. It is anticipated that all remaining customers’ power will be restored by Sunday evening. Estimated restoration times continue to be updated on the outage map at myavista.com/outage. 

Restoration process
To restore power in an outage, we focus on restoring power to critical infrastructure first, such as transmission lines and substations, and emergency facilities like hospitals. Once critical customers are restored, crews then work to make repairs that will restore power along impacted distribution feeder lines to a larger number of customers. This will leave some customers without power while their neighbors have been restored. Avista crews will come back through to restore individual outages in neighborhoods, which means customers may see service people in their neighborhood’s multiple times. 


What customers can do
Those customers who remain without power can aid in the restoration process by checking their service equipment for needed repairs. All of these repairs need to be made by a licensed electrician before we can safely restore power to the home. Customers should look for the following:

•    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.

Safety during an outage
Safety remains a top priority and we want our customers to stay safe. Trees in lines and lines on the ground may still be an issue. 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.

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.

Reporting an outage
Customers who experience a power outage are encouraged to report it online or through their mobile device at www.myavista.com/outage or by calling (800) 227-9187. Updated outage status information, including estimated restoration times, when known, is also available on Avista’s website. Customers can also follow Avista’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates.

Avista’s mobile app can also be downloaded in the Outage Center and via iTunes or Google Play. Registered customers can also text ‘OUT’ to 284-782.

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 362,000 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.

The Avista logo is a trademark of Avista Corporation.

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