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Top 10: Instagram Photos of #Spokane

UPDATED - 3:48 P.M. - There's an issue with the slideshow where it's not loading. Hopefully we get it fixed soon!

Here's this weeks photos of the Spokane area taken by the Instagram community. We've seen dozens of sunsets, sunrises, lightning strikes this week so we tried to find the most unique shots in the region.

One strange visual stands out to us. There's a new graffiti pasting in Spokane and whoever is responsible for it, they're a Trekkie.

How was your week in the Inland Northwest? It's been a busy weather related week, but we were able to bring this one story to the world. We've been working on this for over a week after an emotional man called and then visited the station wanting to share the story of his neighbors Betty and Willard and their romance spanning a lifetime. We hope you consider reading it at some point this weekend.

Want to participate in next week’s photo gallery? Here’s how: Once a week we go through and select ten photos that we think show off the region in all its glory. To select them, we search the #Spokane tag on Instagram through Storify. Your photo could appear in this weekly slide show.

Strong thunderstorms predicted for Inland Northwest

Strong thunderstorms predicted for Inland Northwest

Another set of thunderstorms is predicted to sweep through the Inland Northwest overnight and through Friday and it's expected to pack a wallop. The National Weather Service is preparing for an increased risk for the region with stormy weather producing strong thunderstorms and heavy rainfall.

The storms will travel over the basin and through the Cascades this evening and arrive in the Spokane area by late Friday morning.

The NWS says a “negative tilt trough” is pushing into the the region from the southwest. It will combine with moist and unstable air producing large hail, damaging winds and very heavy rains.

Flooding is also a possibility due to the precipitation. A flash flood watch was issued by the NWS Spokane office for numerous counties in both Idaho and Washington. It’s in effect Thursday night through Friday and could create urban flooding, increased water levels in small streams, landslides or debris flows.

Storify: Flooding across I-90 inspires the tweets

Storify: Flooding across I-90 inspires the tweets

A sudden spout of rainfall in the Spokane area meant all kinds of excessive flooding surprising those on the street and even commuters on westbound I-90. The National Weather Service reported at 3:45 p.m. that the interstate was under water and even blocking traffic in that area.

In some areas it flooded up to one foot clogging traffic for almost two hours. The worse part of the highway was near the Freya/Thor exit, where most of the weather pics came from. Here's some of the tweets from the afternoon.

Top 10: Instagram Photos of #Spokane [71312]

Here's this week's photos of Spokane taken by the Instagram community. Remember that one time when three people took practically the same photo of the Hoopfest portable toilets? It happened again. This time with sunsets.

The region had a stunning sunset to kick of the evening. The clouds were fluffed like a down pillow and the escaping sunlight bounced around the sky. And then came the lightning. We understand. It's hard to take photos of lightning on your phone. 

How was your week? Following the intense afternoon of Tuesday's breaking news, things started to die down a bit. Though the area is quiet, don't miss this story about Spokane's wilderness and how development botched fire suppression for our Ponderosa pines.

Also, if you have a few hours, take a hike down the High Drive Bluff. It's a great hike that you don't need to go to far to experience.

"Fire Boss" starts its 60 day contract in Deer Park

"Fire Boss" starts its 60 day contract in Deer Park

The tarmac at Deer Park Municipal Airport isn’t as hot as the exhaust fuming from their Fire Boss tanker as it comes in for an afternoon landing. The pilot, Eric Johnson, wipes the sweat from his brow and he climbs out of the plane. He just returned from the Colville area to drop about 800 gallons of water from Lake Roosevelt on a small wildfire.

Tuesday was the first day of the plane’s 60-day contract with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Washington Department of Natural Resources. The aircraft will be stationed at the airport to respond to local wildfires as its pilot stands by inside the airport’s office.

There are only three out of 57 total Fire Bosses in the United States to fight wildfires. There’s one in Coeur d’Alene waiting for a contractor and one being used near Boise. The majority of them are based in Europe with Spain, Italy and Croatia leading the pack. The planes are Air Tractor 802s with amphibious floats manufactured out of Minnesota. They can scoop water from nearby rivers and lakes to help ground crews put out fires, raging in the wilderness.

Johnson has been a pilot since 1971 and fighting fires from the air for 22 years. Being stationed out of Deer Park is an easy commute since he only lives 20 miles away. He says the best part of his job is the satisfaction that he’s helping.

Broken AC has Spokane City Hall battling the heat

Broken AC has Spokane City Hall battling the heat

A broken cooling system at Spokane City Hall has some council members loosening their ties, or stripping them all together. City staff have been instructed to keep cool by drinking water and reducing their caffeine intake. The building’s air conditioner picked a great day to malfunction because on some floors it’s nearly as hot inside as it is outside.

On the 7th floor, It’s a dark journey to find the hottest thermostat reading. The lights have been turned off to keep the building as cool as possible. Tucked away behind a pole, some employees use the light of their cellphones to take a reading. It’s 81 degrees inside city council’s conference room while it’s 84 degrees inside management information systems.

The heat is the talk of the office. One employee hugged a bag of ice as she went down the elevator. Another gloats it is 98 in their office as if it was a competition.

Top 10: Instagram Shots of #Spokane

Someone tweeted something on Wednesday along the lines of "Instagrammed fireworks." And that's why there's no Instagrammed photos of fireworks in this week's gallery. So here's this week's photos of Spokane that we picked through and put together in a gallery.

How was your week? It's been a good week for animals from video of baby fawns learning to suckle, moose commuting on the South Hill to cute kittens surviving the odds. You'd think we had been promoted to wildlife correspondents.

Want to participate in next week’s photo gallery? Here’s how: Once a week we go through and select ten photos that we think show off the region in all its glory. To select them, we search the #Spokane tag on Instagram through Storify. Your photo could appear in this weekly slide show.