Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What we know so far about the record-setting windstorm that tore through the PNW

Posted By on Wed, Nov 18, 2015 at 3:04 PM

click to enlarge A tree that fell on a condo complex between 3rd and 4th in Browne's Addition across the street from Coeur d'Alene Park. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FELICIA DIAMOND
Photo Courtesy of Felicia Diamond
A tree that fell on a condo complex between 3rd and 4th in Browne's Addition across the street from Coeur d'Alene Park.

A windstorm causing record-setting power outages ripped across the Pacific Northwest yesterday with gusts reaching 137 mph in some places. Three people are dead and more than 300,000 people throughout the state lost power at some point since Tuesday.

Three people died:

Currently, 139,000 Avista customers throughout Washington and Idaho are without power, down from 180,000 at the height of the hurricane-force winds. That's more than 30 percent of Avista's customers in the two states. 113,000 of those customers are in Spokane County. The company stated it will be three to five days before most customers get service restarted. 

Click here for an outage map and here for a map of the downed trees in Spokane.

Powerful winds:

Gusts reached up to 137 mph at the Mission Ridge Ski area in Chelan County, according to the National Weather Service. In Spokane, winds topped out at 71 mph; 101 mph in Bonner County, 67 mpg in Kootenai County and 82 mph in Shoshone County.

Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing tonight: 

  • The Red Cross opened a shelter at 1404 N. Ash St. (at the Girl Scouts facility) that is open 24 hours and is accepting all ages and pets. 
  • The Salvation Army warming center on 222 E. Indiana is open from 6 pm to 7 am and will take all ages. The power is currently out, but they have blankets. 
  • The House of Charity at 32 W. Pacific is accepting single adults only and will open at 6 pm. 
Idaho, Oregon and other power companies throughout Washington:

30,244 Inland Power and Light customers throughout Washington and Idaho are without power. 

As of 10 am, Vera Water and Power reported that about 2,000 of its customers were without power.

Kootenai Electric Cooperative is reporting approximately 10,000 customers are without power. The KEC website is telling customers the outages could last a week or more. 

About 2,497 Portland General Electric customers are without power.

Keep scrolling for images of the damage: (and click here for a slideshow of Inlander photographer Young Kawk's photos)

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About The Author

Mitch Ryals

Mitch covers cops, crime and courts for the Inlander. He moved to Spokane in 2015 from his hometown of St. Louis, and is a graduate of the University of Missouri. He likes bikes, beer and baseball. And coffee. He dislikes lemon candy, close-mindedness and liars. And temperatures below 40 degrees.