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Avista recap and thanks for Saturday storm | Community Spirit

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Avista recap and thanks for Saturday storm
Avista recap and thanks for Saturday storm

Avista once again is expressing their gratefulness for customer patience and support after recovering from the second major storm in just two weeks.

It took only three days to restore power to all 48,000 customers impacted by the August 2 storm, which rolled across the inland northwest just six days after the July 23 storm. The last storm resulted in the worst damage to the system since an ice storm in 1996.

“It's an amazing achievement to restore power to all of our customers within a matter of days following the one-two punch we received from Mother Nature,” said Avista Utilities President Dennis Vermillion. “Given the magnitude of damage from these back-to-back storms, I have the deepest respect for all of our employees who were involved in restoration efforts, especially our Avista crews and the contract crews who worked tirelessly in the heat to turn on the lights and get the air conditioning and fans blowing for our customers.”

“I'm grateful for our customers and their patience and support,” said Vice President of Energy Delivery Don Kopczynski. “Unfortunately the same areas were hit hard by both storms. That meant some people had their power on for a matter of days before Saturday's storm left them in the dark again. They're troopers for sure.”

Once again, an entire support system was hard at work behind the scenes providing the necessary support to allow field crews to work as efficiently as possible:

  • Dispatchers managed more than 13,700 outage reports from customers that were rolled up into jobs and prioritized so they could dispatch crews to areas of highest need.
  • Two-person “advance teams” went on location in advance to assess damage and identify needs, which allowed crews to arrive onsite with the right equipment and materials to efficiently complete the job. In Spokane alone, more than 800 incidents were assessed.
  • Supply Chain and Warehouse employees worked around the clock to provide materials needed for repairs. Up to 18 contract crews were once again brought in from out of town to help expedite restoration efforts.
  • Avista’s Customer Service Representatives managed more than 7,000 customer calls. Another nearly 11,000 additional customer calls were managed by our electronic self-service system between Saturday and Monday at the height of the storm restoration efforts.
  • External and Internal Communications provided timely and relevant updates to customers, the media and employees.
  • 24 outage-related Facebook posts since Saturday evening reached more than 85,000 people.
  • Twitter (@AvistaUtilities) was also a great resource to provide timely information and safety messages to customers and the media to share.
  • This storm event garnered Avista’s highest reach through social media to date. One storm-update post had the largest reach of any single Avista Facebook post.    

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