Our Northwest

Windstorm darkens Spokane more than ’96 ice storm

Tuesday, November 24, 2015by  Jon Osterberg

The Spokane area is suffering from a double whammy. Last week’s windstorm knocked out power to 180,000 customers. Today, many are still in the dark as snow and bitter cold grip the region.
     Avista reports about 24,000 homes and businesses still have no electricity today.
     My niece, a Shadle Park High student, has been out of school for five days along with the rest of Spokane Public Schools, which won’t reopen until after Thanksgiving weekend.
     For the Lilac City, the scope of this windstorm exceeds the November 1996 Arctic blast that paralyzed all of Washington. PEMCO’s Storm Index ranks the 1996 event at No. 15 all-time for the number of claims and dollars paid in damages.
     In the Spokane area alone, the 1996 ice storm left more than 100,000 without power.
     Many of today’s 24,000 customers without electricity are enduring their eighth day in the dark. PEMCO urges anyone without power to be aware of carbon-monoxide danger when trying to stay warm and fed. In particular:

  • Never use charcoal grills, hibachis, or generators inside your home or garage, even if the door is open.
  • Never use cooking ranges or ovens in place of central heating.

     To see when Spokane schools will tap their makeup days, read this Spokesman-Review story. And learn more about how to prevent carbon-monoxide poisoning.

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