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Progress Made in Power Restoration Efforts, But New Outages Surface

Main Distribution Line Outages Offset Progress in Neighborhoods

SPOKANE, Wash., Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- While Washington Water Power (NYSE: WWP) and outside line crews made progress in the restoration of power in a number of areas during the day on Monday, snow that fell overnight Sunday created new outages in Spokane and Coeur d'Alene.

As temperatures warmed throughout the day, trees already burdened with snow fell into main distribution lines causing additional outages. At 5:00 p.m., Monday, about 18,000 customers remained without electric service in the Spokane area with another 500 customers without power in the Coeur d'Alene area. Crews continue to work 24 hours a day to restore electric service throughout the area.

Coeur d'Alene area crews were able to get back on track after responding to outages on main distribution lines this morning, and are still working to clean up major problems in the Wolf Lodge and Blue Creek areas, which both sustained severe damage in last week's storm.

Last night's storm also caused numerous setbacks in Spokane as restoration efforts were hampered by wind, moisture and additional snow.

Barring continued weather-related setbacks, the company is hoping to have the majority of customers back in service by Thanksgiving.

Crews in Spokane continue to focus on distribution lines in several key areas:

Northwest (north of Sprague, west of Division)

* Areas just north of Francis and south of Francis to Garland

* VA hospital area

* Waikiki/Whitworth/Five Mile Road area

Northeast (East of Division to Havana; north of Sprague):

* Little Spokane Drive/Shady Slope

* Southwest (South of Sprague; West of Division)

* Southwest area of the South Hill

* West of Inland Empire Highway

Southeast (South of Sprague; East of Grand to Havana):

* South Hill area east of Grand and north of 29th Avenue

Near Valley (East of Havana; West of Pines):

* Glenrose area

* Painted Hills/Ponderosa

* North of Painted Hills/Ponderosa

* Pines & Skyview area

* Carnaban area

Far Valley

* North of Freeway to Euclid

* Liberty Lake (lake area)

* East of Harvard to East Farms/north of Euclid

* East Farms

* Southwest of Liberty Lake, south end Henry Rd.

Work continued today on several main distribution lines throughout Spokane and Coeur d'Alene. Neighborhood work and work on individual services -- the wires that extend for the distribution transformer to customers' homes or businesses -- will continue throughout the week.

Washington Water Power is asking customers who have had their service restored to leave a porch light on at all hours. That way, when crews inspect neighborhoods looking for trouble spots, they'll know which customers have had service restored.

Customers with regular company business are being asked to refrain from calling the company until after this emergency.

With the outages likely to persist for extended periods, company officials also continued to urge customers to consider finding an alternate location for themselves and those around them with special needs.

When power outages occur for an extended period of time, Washington Water Power customers should follow these suggestions:

* Consider ALL power lines energized, even if the line is sagging or broken. Do not go near or touch downed power lines. Pedestrians should stay to shoveled and cleared areas to avoid downed power lines that may have been covered by recent snowfall.

* Do not attempt to remove fallen limbs or branches if they are anywhere near downed power lines.

* During an outage, turn off all appliances you think may have been on before the power went out. Leave one light on so you'll know when service has been restored. Also, lower your thermostat on all sources of heat to an absolute minimum. This will reduce the initial demand on Washington Water Power's system once service is restored.

* Unplug all electronic equipment such as computers and microwaves.

* A portable generator, such as an RV generator, improperly installed could backfeed into Washington Water Power lines and endanger the lives of emergency workers and your neighbors. Never plug a portable generator into a household electrical outlet or any other house wiring. The only safe method is to plug electrical appliances directly into the portable generator. The generator's exhaust can be deadly. It is essential that the unit's exhaust be properly ventilated.

* Customers using lanterns and other combustion heating devices in their homes should exercise extreme caution. These devices, using fuels such as kerosene, white gas and propane, all require adequate cross-ventilation to reduce the significant risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

* If you use candies or oil lamps, exercise extreme caution. Do not leave candles or lamps unattended and keep them away from furniture, drapes and other flammable materials.

* If the service lines, meter base or attachments that bring electricity into the house are damaged or have pulled away from the house, you must call a licensed electrician to make repairs. Washington repair crews cannot restore service to homes and businesses until this repair has been made.

* Where water pipes are at risk of exposure to the cold, leave a stream of water about the width of a pencil running through faucets, especially if pipes, are located on outside walls.

* Make sure flashlights and fresh batteries are available.

* Call your insurance agent to assess damages to your property.

* Keep your refrigerator closed as much as possible, and use dry ice to help chill and preserve your food.

* Do not use extension cords strung from house to house. Use of extension cords is a safety hazard and may create additional outages or fire.

SOURCE Washington Water Power
 -0- 11/25/96

/CONTACT: Susan Nielsen, 509-482-4676 or Jay Hopkins, 509-482-4174, both of Washington Water Power/


CO: Washington Water Power ST: Idaho, Washington IN: UTI SU:

KW-RN -- SFM044 -- 4025 11/25/96 20:47 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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