We all now know what Dorothy must've felt during that incredible windy scene in the Wizard of Oz. (If you're now familiar with the setting, please google Dorothy Wizard of Oz.  Unlike other parts of the country, severe weather is rare in Idaho.  Although, historically the Gem State has been home to earthquakes, floods, and fallout from volcanic eruptions.

 

Boise PD / Facebook

Winds swept through the Treasure Valley last night, leaving some without power and many losing their trees. I'm sure you'll see various uprooted trees replacing the usual selfies on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  The Idaho Statesman reports that over one thousand folks lost their power.

Boise PD / Facebook

Boise PD / Facebook

The storms last night stressed the resources of Idaho Power. They currently have crews working on getting power back to folks who lost it Tuesday night. The safety of the teams and impacted homeowners are the priority.  Here's a link to their map of who has lost power here.

Boise PD / Facebook

What do you do if you have downed power lines in your area?  Idaho Power has published safety tips to keep you and your loved ones safe.

  • Always assume any downed power line is energized. Stay at least 100 feet back, keep others away and contact Idaho Power immediately at 208-388-2323 or 1-800-488-6151 outside the Treasure Valley,  or call 911.
  • Never touch a downed line or use any object to move a downed power line.
  • Never remove tree limbs or other objects near or touching a downed line.
  • If someone touches a downed power line, do not touch or try to rescue them. You risk becoming a victim yourself. Call 911 immediately.
Boise PD / Facebook

What happens if a power line falls on your car?

  • Stay inside until help arrives.
  • Warn others not to touch the vehicle and ask them to call for help.
  • If you must leave the vehicle because of a fire or other life-threatening situations, jump out and as far away as possible with both feet landing on the ground at the same time. Keeping your feet together, shuffle away from the scene at least 100 feet. DO NOT touch the vehicle and the ground at the same time. Watch the video below for a demonstration.

Here's a video for further explanation:

The National Weather Service predicts our temperatures will be in the triple digits next week.  Rising temperatures will strain our power grid and hopefully we will not have blackouts like California has every year.  What can you do to prepare yourself if your power goes out?  Idaho Power has provided a list here.

  • Sign up to receive alerts of outages at your residence through My Account.
  • Learn how to manually open security gates and garage doors.
  • Plan ahead and gather a kit containing the following items to have on hand in case of an outage:
    • Flashlights
    • Matches
    • Blankets
    • Bottled water (5 gallons per person)
    • Non-perishable food (canned goods, crackers, etc.)
    • Non-electric can opener
    • Baby food or formula and diapers, if needed
    • Pet food, if needed
    • First-aid kit and any prescription medications
    • Battery or solar-powered chargers for your devices
    • Battery-powered radio and clock
    • Extra batteries
    • Board games or cards for entertainment
Boise PD/Facebook

If your power goes out, here's what to do from Idaho Power.

  • Check our Outage Map or call 1-800-488-6151 to view or report outages. You can also sign up to receive text alerts.
  • For safety reasons, use battery-powered lights instead of candles.
  • Never use an electric generator indoors, inside the garage or near the air intake of your house. If you plan to use a generator during an outage, ensure it meets National Electrical Code Articles 701 and 702 and does not interconnect with Idaho Power’s electrical system. If you have questions, contact us beforehand at 208-388-2323 or 1-800-488-6151. In addition, check out this Using Portable Generators Safely brochure.
  • To protect your appliances, machinery and equipment, turn off any that were in use when the power went out. Make sure to turn off electric ranges or space heaters to prevent the possibility of a fire if you’re away when power is restored. Keep one light on so you know when power has been restored.
    • After power has been restored for about 10 minutes, begin turning back on appliances and lighting in 10-minute phases. This keeps circuits from overloading and helps to more quickly and safely restore everyone’s power.
  • Avoid opening refrigerator and freezer doors to keep food cold longer, and keep a large block of ice in the freezer.
  • If you notice a downed power line, stay at least 100 feet back and report it to Idaho Power by calling 1-800-488-6151. Read more about being safe around downed power lines.
Boise PD/ Facebook

The Treasure Valley wasn't the only area where residents lost power.  The Idaho Journal reports that over 8,200 folks lost their power in Eastern Idaho.  Idaho Power has been in the news lately.  They've asked for a rate increase that has caused a backlash among customers, reports Channel 6.  The utility was the subject of a channel 7 story concerning controlling the flow of water in Hell's Canyon.

Boise PD/Facebook

The National Weather Service has provided us with a look at the wind patterns that will influence our weather today.


Boise PD/Facebook

Thanks to the Boise PD for their photos from their Facebook page and all first responders that serve the community in our time of need.  Also, a thanks to the folks at Idaho Power for their work in these challenging conditions.  Let me commend Vin Crosby from The Weather Show with Vin Crosby for his efforts to cover Tuesday night's storm.  Check out his video featuring a tree on a Tesla.


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