Avista thanks customers, employees for patience and hard work after storm | Community Spirit
Avista released a big thank-you today to all their customers impacted by last Wednesday's wind storm for their patience during repairs, and to their crews for working non-stop to get everyone back online.
Avista says last week's storm caused the worst damage to their system since a massive ice storm in 1996, nearly 20 years ago. This time around it took nearly 96 hours to restore power to the nearly 40,000 customers left without.
Now that all the power is back on, Avista is getting a better look at the damage. Preliminary numbers show that more than 120 poles had to be replaced after high winds toppled trees onto power lines and snapped poles. That's double their initial estimate.
Dispatchers worked around the clock to prioritize work and dispatch crews to areas of highest need, organizing nearly 14,000 outage reports from customers.
To make sure repairs were done quickly and efficiently, two-person work crews were sent to each location to assess the damage and determine what material were needed for each job so that repair crews arrived with the proper equipment and materials the first time.
Supply chain and warehouse employees also worked nonstop, providing the repair materials. In Spokane alone they used:
- 86 wood distribution poles
- 40 transmission poles
- 13,000 feet of conductor wire to replace power lines
“It's an incredible logistical challenge. As we begin to tally the numbers of people and amounts of material needed to make repairs and get power flowing back to our customers as quickly and safely as possible, one thing is clear – it is a monumental achievement,” said Vie President of Energy Delivery Don Kopczynski. “I heard that as electricity was restored to the last group of customers in the Inchelium area near Colville, neighbors stood in the street cheering. That kind of appreciation is why Avista’s employees work around the clock to keep the lights on for our customers.”