Avista thanks customers following Wednesday’s historic windstorm Community support and encouragement helped boost crew morale during restoration
Spokane, Wash. Jan. 20, 2021: Avista crews and support staff transition back into “business as usual” on Wednesday as all customers impacted by last week’s windstorm have been restored. Over seven days, Avista crews throughout the region, along with contract and mutual aid crews, worked around-the-clock to restore power to over 70,000 customers who lost electricity at the peak of the storm.
The historic Jan. 13 windstorm devastated the region causing trees and tree limbs to come into contact with Avista power poles and power lines. Avista responded to the challenge by immediately engaging support staff and contract crews to assist in their restoration efforts. Mutual aid crews were also called upon and provided much-needed support.
As of 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, Avista signaled the completion of its power restoration efforts. During the event, crews traveled around the region restoring power to those impacted. Once power was restored in one area, they would relocate to provide reinforcement for communities still without power. Hard to access areas took the longest to restore. Progress slowed and challenges were met navigating rough terrain, downed power poles, downed trees and debris in some cases.
At this time all counties in Avista’s service territory have returned to their standard crew complement. In total 460 people were working directly on outage restoration efforts. Beyond the electric crews who were on the frontlines replacing poles, restringing wire, and rebuilding the electric system, countless employees were working behind the scenes providing support to those in the field.
“We are so appreciative of the communities we serve, and we are grateful for the crews who braved the elements and the challenging conditions this storm caused,” said Dennis Vermillion, Avista President, and CEO. “Part of the charm of living in the Inland Northwest is the scenic forests and timbers. However, when the soil becomes saturated by rain, followed by significant winds as we’ve experienced, devastation and damage can occur. We’re grateful for the assistance we received through contractors and mutual aid crews who provided additional workforce to help expedite our restoration efforts. Also, the patience, support, and encouragement shown by our communities has been outstanding and boosts the morale of our employees. In the wake of Wednesday’s storm and at the completion of our restoration efforts I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to our customers and everyone involved.”
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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