Emergency managers urge early dismissal

Wind gusts to 70 MPH expected at commute time

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740

Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 12:55 p.m.

Spokane emergency responders are urging employers to send their employees home early today as a severe wind storm is expected to hit Spokane during the height of the evening commute.

Wind gusts are expected to peak at 70 miles per hour between 4 and 7 p.m. with sustained winds expected to reach 50 miles per hour during that timeframe, according to the National Weather Service. Spokane Mayor David Condon will send all non-essential city employees home at 3 pm today. All non-essential city facilities, including libraries, will also close at 3 p.m.

“Extremely high winds projected to hit the area during the height of the commute carry with them the very real possibility of significant damage and heavy traffic congestion,” Condon said. “We are heeding the advice of our emergency managers and putting the safety of our employees and the public first while clearing the way for our first responders. I urge other employers to also consider sending their employees home early.”

Motorists should use caution and treat a signalized intersection without power like a four-way stop, allowing vehicles to take turns. Remember, when the power’s out, everybody stops and call 9-1-1 to report downed power lines.