Windstorm damage continues to mount
There’s still considerable danger from trees damaged by the July 20 wind storm that swept the area, Colville Tribes spokesperson Kathy Moses said Tuesday.
Moses said that tops of trees damaged by the wind are falling off in wind as low as six mph. When they break, it sounds like gunshots, field workers have reported, Moses said.
And many trees have been splintered underneath the bark, making them dangerous, Moses stated.
“With the hotter weather, we are finding more tree problems here on the reservation,” Moses stated.
Meanwhile, tribal authorities have scheduled two meetings this week at the Keller Community Center to deal with storm-related issues.
Tonight (Wednesday) from 5-7 p.m. a community outreach meeting will be staged with tribal, state and federal agencies having booths so people can have a one-on-one meeting with officials to help deal with losses.
Thursday night a community dinner is planned for 6 p.m. with tribal officials coming to review how well response teams dealt with the problems caused by the storm.
Moses reported that about 95 percent of those who lost power have had it restored, with most of the power outages north of Bridge Creek Road.
“One problem they had with power was that there were about 1,000 poles down and there was only about 100 immediately available for replacement,” Moses noted.
Six homes were destroyed and as many as 20 were declared unsafe for occupancy.
At the peak of recovery from the storm, as many as 250 people were fed at the Keller Community Center, with 150 still receiving meals early this week.
“This will taper off sharply as the week goes on,” Moses said.
Tuesday some demobilization was going on.
“We have a high number of unemployed here in the Keller area and we were able to provide temporary jobs to a lot of people,” Moses noted.