Strong winds possible in Eastern Washington
Last updated 1/19/2021 at 12:15pm
AIRWAY HEIGHTS -- National Weather Service forecasters warn that a strong cold front scheduled to pass through Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho beginning late Tuesday night and through Wednesday could bring strong winds, heavy rain and snow in the mountains.
Forecasters say they have moderate confidence the cold front could make for very windy conditions with potential wind gusts ranging from 40 -- 55 miles per hour in Eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle. Winds could create hazardous conditions in the area such as downed power lines and trees, choppy lakes and difficult travel for high-profile vehicles -- especially on Interstate 90.
In a news release, Avista Utilities said it had crews ready with fueled and stocked fleet vehicles ready to respond to any power emergency Wednesday. The company urged customers to take precautions and prepare for potential storm damages and outages.
"With sustained winds expected, estimated restoration times are not likely to be available until the storm has passed and Avista is able to complete assessments, which may take 24 hours or more, depending on the extent of the damage," officials said in the release. "Customers can expect to see current outage numbers on the outage map at myavista.com/outage while the estimated restoration time will note that outages are under assessment. As assessments are complete and more information is known, estimated restoration times will be updated on the outage map.
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.
Customers who experience a power outage are encouraged to report it online or through their mobile device at http://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.