Avista restoration may stretch through Friday evening


“Avista customer restoration may stretch through Friday evening Labor-intensive work of rebuilding distribution lines in neighborhoods continues

Spokane, Wash. Nov. 24, 2015, 3:00 p.m.: Avista crews, along with contractors and mutual aid crews from six western states and British Columbia, are working 16-hour shifts to restore power to the remaining 18,000 customers who are without power since the devastating November 17 wind storm. Plans call for the majority of these customers to have power by midnight tomorrow, Wednesday, November 25. However, based on what we know about the extent of damage in certain areas, as many as 5,000 customers may not have power for Thanksgiving. The areas with the highest risk for continued outage include the neighborhoods in the 99205, 99203 and 99223 zip codes in Spokane. Avista crews will target restoring power to these areas by midnight Friday.

As of this point in time, 90 percent of the 180,000 customers who lost power last Tuesday have had their power restored.

Today, 19 crews are working in the 99205 zip code, in Northwest Spokane, 15 crews are in the 99223 zip code and another 25 crews are assigned to “ground zero,” the 99203 zip code on Spokane’s south hill.

“We are keenly aware of the hardship, stress and frustration people are experiencing, particularly with today’s weather and the holiday approaching,” said Avista CEO Scott Morris. “Our crews and support staff will be working through the Thanksgiving holiday, and we will do what it takes to restore power to every last customer.”

Avista has more than 100 crews in the field – about 700 individuals — that continue working on a rotating basis around the clock. That is more than five times our typical workforce for the company’s entire utility service area, and it is 10 times our typical Spokane work force.

For ongoing outage status, please visit www.avistautilities.com

Safety during a power outage

Avista suggests customers take the following steps during an outage:

* 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. Back feed 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.

* If you see a downed power line, stay away. Treat all power lines as if they are carrying electrical current, and never touch or move one.

* 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”

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