Avista crews make progress overnight, continue restoration efforts Saturday

October 24, 2020

Spokane, Wash. Oct. 24, 2020, 11:00 a.m.: Avista crews made great progress overnight and continue to work throughout the day Saturday to restore power to all customers who lost power during the fall snowstorm. As of 11:00 a.m. Saturday, Avista has restored power to more than 14,000 or approximately 63% of the 22,000 customers who lost power at the height of the storm Friday evening. 7,123 customers remain without power.

Avista remains well-staffed and focused, with 57 crews working the outages, including both line crews and vegetation management crews.

“We want to thank our customers for their patience as we work to restore power to all customers who lost power as a result of this snowstorm,” Dennis Vermillion, Avista president and CEO said. “We understand living without power during cold weather can be difficult. We continue to dedicate all available resources to restore the remaining customers.”

“We also want to emphasize the importance of safety for our customers and crews as restoration efforts continue. Customers should treat all lines as if they are energized, stay away from any downed power lines and not attempt to remove limbs from downed or sagging power lines.”

This particular storm did the most damage to the individual distribution service lines that deliver power to individual customers’ homes. With this kind of damage, the restoration process for those customers who remain out is more time-consuming and labor-intensive. As Avista continues to review and assess more than 500 remaining individual incidents, estimated restoration times are available and being updated on the outage map at myavista.com/outage. Customers should be prepared for a prolonged outage of 1-2 days and seek resources as needed. Once crews have been able to assess each area, we will provide updated restoration times for our customers.

While the snow has stopped falling, wind in the forecast today may impact restoration efforts and the number of outages experienced today. Crews will continue to work around the clock until all customers are restored.

Due to these outages, Avista is experiencing higher than normal call volumes, and we appreciate our customers’ patience.

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 to report its location or email ask@myavista.com.

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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