Regional Wind Event Expected to Start at 1pm Today
Ofc. Teresa Fuller
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 at 2:09 p.m.
Numerous agencies are partnering with Spokane County Department of Emergency Management to alert the Spokane Area that our region is expected to be hard-hit by winds this afternoon which will likely create power outages, fallen trees, downed power lines and fires. These agencies are also encouraging local businesses and agencies to consider ending operations early in the day in order to keep traffic to a minimum between 4-7pm tonight. Spokane County DEM will be using the hash tag #InlandWind on Twitter.
Before a power outage, individuals should ensure their disaster preparedness kit contains flashlights and/or light sticks, a battery-powered radio with extra batteries and a wind-up clock. Individuals should also have a safe alternative heat source and supply of fuel. Never burn charcoal or use a generator indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. There are also steps employers can take to ensure provision of services continues throughout the outage—this is especially important for health-related services.
“There are a host of health and safety concerns that come along with power outages. Fortunately, there are prevention steps our community can take to prepare and stay safe, “ said Tiffany Turner, Spokane Regional Health District Emergency Preparedness program manager.
Do not call 9-1-1 or other emergency numbers unless you have a life-threatening emergency. Do not approach or attempt to move downed power lines. City/County Crews and Power Utilities will be responding as quickly as possible; they are not responding to downed cable TV lines.
To report downed power lines or if your power is out, call Avista at 1.800.227.9187 Inland Power (877) 668.8243.
When possible stay indoors during periods of high wind, away from the potential for falling trees and power lines.
Greater Spokane Emergency Management’s information page http://www.spokanecounty.org/emergencymgmt/ will be updated as necessary.
During the storm, the top priorities for the city of Spokane will be life safety, clearing streets and restoring critical infrastructure. The Emergency Coordination Center has been staffed and is ready to support emerging community situations as they are identified.
“We are ready and prepared to assist those impacted by the weather,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said. “Motorists should be alert for debris and obstructions, allow a little extra time, use a little more caution and remember that when the power’s out, everyone stops.”
“WSDOT crews are fully staffed and ready to respond to wind-related problems. If strong winds do occur and result in trees and debris on state highways, crews will work to clear them as soon as possible as long as it is safe to do so. The best source for state highway road closure information is our traffic and roads link on our web site: www.wsdot.com/traffic/trafficalerts/Eastern.aspx or by dialing 5-1-1.”
In the event that extreme wind causes the inability of helicopters to fly, Northwest MedStar’s ICU-level crews stand mission-ready with critical care ground ambulances for shorter distances and airplanes for longer transports.
City of Spokane Valley Public Works Department is ready to respond to damage from today’s expected high winds. City crews will be out watching for traffic light outages and traffic signs down.
Reporting information for City of Spokane Valley:
|Description||Weekdays 8:00am – 5:00pm||After hours|
|Downed power lines||Call local power company, or if unknown, call 921-1000||Call 9-1-1|
|Traffic signal outages||Call 9-1-1||Call 9-1-1|
|Traffic signs down||Call 921.1000||Call 9-1-1|
|Downed trees in right of way||Call 921.1000||Call 9-1-1|
|Debris in right of way||Call 921.1000||Call 9-1-1 if presenting traffic hazard; otherwise call 921-1000 and leave message or report online at www.spokanevalley.org using the Report a Problem link|
|Street lights out (not traffic signals)||Call 921.1000||Call 921.1000 and leave message or report online at www.spokanevalley.org using the Report a Problem link|
Officer John O'Brien