Ofc. Teresa Fuller, 509.835.4568, email@example.com
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 5:52 p.m.
The Greater Spokane Department of Emergency Management, partnering with a number of agencies, recently held a press conference to update the community on our current status. The DEM is still working to assess the damage caused by last night’s severe storm. With the large amount of downed trees and power lines, travel is still potentially dangerous. Citizens are advised to stay home and off our roadways if possible.
The Department of Emergency Management is coordinating resources throughout Spokane and that effort began well before the storm hit and will continue as we deal with the aftermath. The coordination includes first responders, health organizations, social service agencies and other resource providers and power companies. Public safety remains a priority, but today our mission shifted to cleanup and support.
In the City of Spokane, roads are being cleared for traffic and temporary shelters are being set up for those who need a place to stay. For those who have been able to start the cleanup on their own, storm debris drop-off locations have been established at the Northside Landfill and Waste-To-Energy plant. For smaller material in residential neighborhoods, the City will extend the season for its curbside yard waste collection program for two additional weeks through Dec. 18. Customers can place their yard debris from the storm in their green yard waste carts. Branches must be smaller than 3 inches in diameter. Curbside yard waste collection is a voluntary, subscription service. For larger material, the City will accept emergency storm debris for free at the Northside Landfill, 5502 W. Nine Mile Road. The facility will open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily through Friday, Nov. 20, to accept that material.
Street crews worked overnight and throughout the day clearing major arterials obstructed by fallen trees.
“By some measures, the storm has had the most widespread impact of any event our community as experienced. As a community, we have had a tough past 24 hours”, said Mayor David Condon. “But, Spokane is resilient and a community that takes care of each other.”
Spokane County has spent the day assessing damage, clearing debris and assisting residents. Air 1 was deployed to get and overview of damage and it’s estimated at this time it will take several days to clean up from the storm. The Spokane County Regional Solid Waste System announced this morning that they will accept storm-related, residential yard debris/clean green for FREE at the North County Transfer Station (22123 N. Elk-Chattaroy Road), the Valley Transfer Station (3941 N. Sullivan Road), and the City of Spokane’s Waste to Energy Plant (2900 S. Geiger Blvd.) through Sunday, November 22, 2015. For more information, call (509) 477-3604.
911 service in the Green Bluff area is inoperative for landlines. Residents are asked to use cell phones or Voice Over IP (cable or internet provided telephone service) in an emergency to call 911.
Red Cross has opened three shelters in our area for people who cannot stay in their homes. Those shelters will be open 24 hours a day until it’s determined there is no longer a need. Those shelters are at the Girl Scout’s building, 1404 N. Ash, Spokane Valley Assembly of God, 15618 E Broadway, and the United Methodist Church204 4th St. in Cheney. People who need assistance or who know someone that needs assistance should call 211 to be connected to resources. For people who need shelter and also have medical needs, the Girl Scout facility will have basic medical support available.
Residents evacuating to the shelter are asked to bring:
The Spokane Regional Health District is warning of the potential for food borne illness. If you have been without power for more than 4 hours, the food in your refrigerator has potential for causing illness. The same applies to food in a freezer after 24-48 hours. If the temperature of the food reaches 40 degrees, it could cause illness.
SRHD also wants to warn against the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Please do not use generators or any kind of charcoal fueled heaters or barbeques indoors.
Avista estimates 3 to 5 days to restore power to the majority of their customers in the Spokane area. They are working diligently around the clock to restore power quickly and safely. Resources have been called in from as far away as the San Francisco and Reno areas to assist.
Vera Power is estimating 2-4 days to restore power to a majority of their customers. They are currently reporting under 1,000 people without power.
Inland Power is estimating 2-4 days to restore power to a majority of their customers. They are currently reporting 19,000 people in Spokane County without power.
To report downed power lines or to inquire about power outages, please contact your power company.
Officer John O'Brien