Saturday, May 25, 2013
Wind Batters Hillside Over Weekend
High temperatures, high winds cause damage, dangerous road conditions
Alaska is once again feeling the force of extreme weather patterns, but this time it’s hitting a little closer to home. From high temperatures to even higher winds, Anchorage finds itself smack in the middle of one of the most unusual winters on record.
It was a long Saturday night on the Anchorage Hillside. As the volunteer caretaker at the Glen Alps trailhead, Christy Gentemann got a firsthand look at the 118-mile-an-hour winds that pounded the mountainside Saturday night. “Felt like I was in a hurricane all night long,” she said, “it was just howling and coming down; I couldn’t tell if it was snowing or raining.”
It’s normally one of Anchorage’s most popular winter hiking spots, but Sunday the parking lot was empty, and Gentemann was hunkering down to wait out the storm.
Further down the hill, it was a different story, and blowing snow turned into blowing rain. Across town, high winds downed more than a few trees. Now it’s just a matter of picking up the pieces.
Strangely enough, the wet and windy weather was keeping the Anchorage Fire Department busy Sunday also; they responded to multiple calls of downed trees blocking roadways, knocking over power lines and causing other damage.