Part of the roof is missing off of an apartment building in Palmer, the result of hurricane-force winds that made their way through the Matanuska Valley Thursday. Winds in the area reached speeds of at least 75 m.p.h.


The strong winds are also blamed for several fires around the area, though none were considered serious. Firefighters say the winds knocked down power lines that ignited several fires, leading to a burn ban.


An air quality alert remains in effect for the Matanuska Valley until the winds subside. That means young children, seniors, and persons with existing heart or lung diseases should stay indoors and reduce physical activity.


Matanuska Electric Association officials say crews are working to restore power in areas affected by power outages caused by the wind.