Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

This time, storm misses Cheney area


For a second time in less than two weeks Mother Nature showed her wrath marching a damaging thunderstorm through Spokane County.

The difference between the July 23 storm and the one Saturday afternoon, Aug. 2 was the latter largely missed Cheney, a variety of first responders said.

“The storm that came though Saturday evening we barely had any problems at all,” Joe Noland, Cheney Light Department director said. “Just lights flickering.”

The storm went far enough west and north of Cheney, he said.

But Noland still lost power. “It got me, I was out of power for 19 hours; I live west of Cheney,” Noland said, adding he’s served by Inland Power and Light.

“The feed for Inland Power and Light, who I’m on, comes out of our Cheney substation,” Noland said. “Apparently Sunday morning (Aug. 2) at 7:55 (a.m.) they tried to energize that circuit going out toward Tyler.”

It didn’t hold and caused a switch associated with a substation to fail.

“(I) still haven’t got the details on that,” Noland said. That took the city out for about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Actually it was about half the city, Noland said. “I’m guessing about 2,600 customers.”

Crews had to be dispatched to reset the equipment and then re-energize each circuit line, Noland explained.

None of that outage was storm-related. “We were very fortunate not having storm related trees down,” Noland said.

“We’ve had enough of it this summer,” Noland said. “It’s unprecedented for us, hopefully this is the end of it.”

Cheney Fire Department Chief Mike Winters also indicated it was a quiet aftermath of the storm that plunged an estimated 60,000 Inland Northwest residents into the dark as trees crashed into power lines.

“We didn’t get hit as hard as North Spokane did,” Spokane County Fire District 3’s Debra Arnold said.

It went around to the north, Brian Anderson, deputy chief, confirmed. “Once it blew through and we didn’t have any problems we sent four trucks to District 4 up in Colbert as part of a mutual aid agreement,” Anderson said.

Fire District 3 crews are still assisting on the Carlton Complex in Twist and tending to reoccurring hotspots on the Watermelon Hill fire, Anderson said. “It’s non-stop, it’s been a busy month.”

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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