Kootenai County’s already weakened trees caught a break Wednesday from Mother Nature.
A high wind warning issued Tuesday by the National Weather Service said to expect sustained winds of 35-40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The warning was downgraded to a wind advisory late Wednesday morning, and the advisory expired at 4 p.m.
While utility companies, emergency responders, schools and public safety officials braced for the worst, it was not a repeat of the Nov. 17 windstorm that devastated the region and left thousands without power for days.
“We did get the wind,” said meteorologist Randy Mann. “It just moved through rather quickly.”
Wind speeds peaked early in the morning with a 61 mph gust recorded at Coeur d’Alene Airport at 7:15 a.m. and a 52 mph gust in Post Falls at 7 a.m.
There were scattered reports of power outages.
Unlike the November storm, this weather system brought a significant amount of moisture.
“These are drought-breaking rains here," Mann said.
A flood advisory remained in effect for Kootenai County and the surrounding North Idaho counties until 12:15 a.m. today.
The hardest hit regions for flooding, according to National Weather Service reports, were Bonner and Boundary counties where a flood warning was issued. By mid-afternoon Wednesday, 3-5 inches of rain was recorded in certain areas of those counties, with numerous reports of lowland flooding and swollen creeks.
Closer to home, a significant rise in the Coeur d’Alene River at Cataldo was reported, but no mainstream river flooding was expected.
“We’re not done,” Mann said.
He noted several more storm systems will be moving through the area over the next few days, and they are expected to bring more rain and some light snow.
No significant accumulations are forecast, although there is a chance of 1-2 inches of snow Saturday.