SHAWN+GUST%2FPress%0A%0AButch+Stoddard+works+to+remove+four+large+trees+from+a+neighbor%E2%80%99s+yard+on+Colfax+Street+in+Dalton+Gardens+on+Wednesday.+A+severe+storm+that+brought+high+winds+to+the+area+Tuesday+caused+widespread+damage+to+property+across+Kootenai+County.

Photo from: Shawn Gust

SHAWN GUST/Press Butch Stoddard works to remove four large trees from a neighbor’s yard on Colfax Street in Dalton Gardens on Wednesday. A severe storm that brought high winds to the area Tuesday caused widespread damage to property across Kootenai County.

Back to the 1800s

December 10, 2015

On November 19th, 2015, a huge wind storm hit Spokane, Washington, Post Falls, and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The wind was so strong that it caused up to a week of no power for most of the residents in Spokane, Washington and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

The wind speed got up to 74 miles per hour, which is almost up to hurricane speeds. Between 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. is when the Power went out. Trees fell causing houses to cave in, power lines went down, cars and anything in the way of a falling tree was destroyed.

SHAWN GUST/PressTwo trees that had snapped in Tuesday’s storm crashed onto a home at 533 W. Linden Avenue.
SHAWN GUST/PressTwo trees that had snapped in Tuesday’s storm crashed onto a home at 533 W. Linden Avenue.

While the winds were striking people’s personal properties, some people decided to flee to hotels for the fear of trees falling on top of their houses.

Avista officials were struck by how many people lost power. Over 168,400 customers were without power. This was Avista’s worst power outage that they have ever witnessed in their whole history.

 

Avista wasn’t the only power company that had lost power through their customers. Kootenai Electric recorded 206,000 customers with no power.

Unfortunately, not everyone remained completely safe. In Spokane, Washington, two lives were lost. One was a 50-year-old woman who was walking and got hit by a falling tree. Bystanders called the police but when they arrived, they were too late. The other person that lost their life was another woman who was driving when a tree fell on top of her car. Another man was considered very lucky, he got seriously injured when a tree fell on top of his car, but he lived.

SHAWN GUST/Press Nancy Piscitelli describes the moment when a tree crashed onto her Hayden home at 12924 N. Emerald Drive.
Photo from: Shawn Gust
SHAWN GUST/Press
Nancy Piscitelli describes the moment when a tree crashed onto her Hayden home at 12924 N. Emerald Drive.

The wind storm was so bad that it tripled the results from the 1996 ice storm which in all, 100,000 customers did not have power.

People had to throw away almost all of the food in their refrigerators because it all went bad. Some people’s wager was cut off completely because of their electrical wells. Some people were not lucky enough to even have a house to stay in for shelter because of falling trees.

Luckily some schools with power in Spokane opened during the mornings to serve people breakfast and shelter for those who couldn’t provide it for themselves. The once lit Spokane, Post Falls, and Coeur d’Alene were now dark and scary for most because some of the stop lights at big intersections and streetlights were not functioning. Car crashes became very common during this time. Police were all over the place making sure that they could stop crime and anything harmful that might happen.
Although this power outage was scary for most, it is all over and everybody is now safe.

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