Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 509.625.6740
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 9:12 a.m.
Strong winds continue in our area this morning. City of Spokane first responders, as well as Street and Parks crews, are responding to calls for assistance and reports of damage.
Public safety officials are asking citizens to stay home if they can and avoid any unnecessary trips. If people must go out, they should use extreme caution and expect delays in getting to their destinations. Parks officials ask citizens to stay out of parks until the winds subside and crews can assess damage and clear unsafe debris. The high winds also can impact those experiencing homelessness; shelter space is available.
Dangerous conditions exist, with many reports of downed power lines and the ongoing possibility of falling trees and limbs. Some trees have been completely uprooted and could have impacted underground utilities. Many intersections are without power this morning; motorists should treat them as a four-way stop and proceed with caution. Garbage collection is proceeding where possible, but delays are likely and some areas will be missed. Report missed collection to 3-1-1.
“The storm hit with the greatest fury just as the morning commute was getting started. Responding to address safety concerns is the City’s top priority today; please use extreme caution,” says Mayor Nadine Woodward. “We already are seeing significant damage on the South Hill and in Northwest Spokane neighborhoods, and high winds are forecast to last throughout much of the day. We have added staffing to meet public safety needs and to begin clearing the damage.”
Citizens can call 3-1-1 to report trees blocking roadways. For trees entangled with power lines, please call Avista at 1-800-227-9187. (Answer “yes” when asked if you want to report an urgent issue.) If downed power lines pose an emergency, please call 9-1-1. Treat downed and damaged power lines as active don’t approach them.
Crews will prioritize opening blocked arterials and assisting first responders until the winds begin to subside. After that, crews will work to open blocked residential streets and then will move to general debris removal from the streets. Parks Operations teams will evaluate and manage tree damage in City parks. Sidewalks may also be blocked by fallen trees and limbs; please use caution.
After the storm, citizens can take tree debris from their yards to the Waste to Energy facility, 2900 S. Geiger Blvd. Residents who need assistance with clearing tree debris from private property are encouraged to refer to the list of licensed arborists at spokanecity.org.