Crews still working to repair power outages caused by wind storm
Updated at 1:55 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21
Multiple utility companies reported outages Wednesday morning in the midst of the strongest wind Southcentral Alaska has seen during the current storm system.
As of 4 a.m. Wednesday, Chugach Electric Association reported it had 1,190 customers without power. Crews for the company were working near Boniface, Oceanview and in Girdwood to restore power.
The company continued to repair affected areas Wednesday afternoon, and provided an updated number online.
Here is the latest: 300 in the Huffman/O’Malley area, 430 in Muldoon and 165 in Girdwood. Crews are working on all outages at this time.
— Chugach Electric (@chugachelectric) September 21, 2016
Just after 6 a.m. Wednesday, Chugach Electric Association reported that 1,000 Boniface customer had power and that there was a “tree taken out of a line.” The company stated there was a circuit tripped on the hillside, leaving 2,500 customers without power.
People in Anchorage weren’t the only ones left in the dark. Matanuska Electric Association (MEA) also reported power outages early Wednesday with nearly 3,300 members without power between Wasilla and the Willow-Caswell Lakes area.
The company has been working all morning to repair the affected lines. A tweet sent out around 1 p.m. said crews were still working in the field and that 227 customers were still without power.
Interior residents are also experiencing power loss Wednesday morning. According to Golden Valley Electric Association’s (GVEA) online outage map, there were three outages affecting 2,334 customers in the area of Delta Junction following the Richardson Highway past Aurora Lodge. The company reported that 239 customers have called in. GVEA customers can call 907-452-1151 to report an outage.
Gusty winds began affecting areas of the Anchorage hillside by mid-morning on Tuesday, and peaked in most areas early Wednesday morning.
The highest recorded wind gust of the storm was 103 mph, recorded at the upper DeArmoun weather station around 6:15 a.m. Wednesday. That’s equivalent to a category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Other wind gusts between 60 to 90 mph were reported throughout portions of the lower and upper hillside. Along Turnagain Arm, a wind gust of 78 mph was recorded at the Portage Glacier Center. The peak wind gust at Ted Stevens International Airport was 45 mph, recorded Tuesday afternoon.
The high wind warning has been allowed to expire for most of southcentral, as winds continue to subside throughout the day. The exception is Cordova, where a high wind warning continues until 6 p.m. Wind gusts up to 87 mph have been reported there as of 11 a.m. Wednesday.
For interior Alaska, a high wind warning continues until 7 p.m. for the eastern Alaska Range, Denali, and the Deltana and Tanana Flats. Early Wednesday morning, gusts of 60 to 70 mph were reported in Delta Junction, causing trees to snap.
For commercial flight updates, travelers may check the Ted Stevens International Airport flight information page. Make sure to call your airline for information on a specific flight.
Small, local aircraft will likely be affected by this storm. Pilots can find the latest warnings and information on the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit website.
The Anchorage Fire Department announced Tuesday afternoon the woodlot in South Anchorage would repoen Wednesday through Sunday to take in debris from trees damaged by the wind storm.
The lot will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Drop-off fees and rules are the same as they were before the woodlot closed.
This is a developing story; please check back and watch KTVA 11 News at 5 p.m. for updates.
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