4,000 still without power in Fairbanks area
Update on Thursday, Oct. 1 at 9:25 p.m.
Four thousand homes and businesses in the Fairbanks North Star Borough were still without power Thursday evening.
Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins says residents should be prepared to go another five days without power.
He says Golden Valley Electric Association has 40 linemen working in shifts around the clock, but it’s slow going due to many downed trees and lines.
“A lot of accesses are difficult right now with 17-inches of wet snow, and be able to get to those lines that either are down, fuses are blown as they go out from the main substation,” Hopkins said.
The Red Cross is running two warming shelters in Fairbanks and North Pole, open to residents without power.
Mayor Hopkins asked residents to be safe, saying the Red Cross can be called for help with housing and food. Hopkins says anyone suffering a medical emergency can still call 911. Fire and ambulance crews are equipped with chainsaws so they can get to homes and assist residents in need.
More wet and windy weather is expected in the area. which Hopkins said could hinder efforts to get the lights on.
Update on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 6 p.m.
As power outages continue in and around Fairbanks, the American Red Cross is stepping up to help residents affected.
Between 8,000 and 10,000 meters are still without power in the Fairbanks area, according to Golden Valley Electric Association representatives. 15 crews have been dispatched to restore power to three substations and then begin making repairs for isolated outages.
For those still without power, the Red Cross has established two warm-shelter facilities in North Pole and Fairbanks. The Fairbanks shelter opened at 3 p.m. at University Community Presbyterian Church at 3510 College Road. The North Pole facility is scheduled to open at 7 p.m. at the North Pole Fire Station Annex at 110 Lewis Street.
Anyone seeking shelter at either facility is asked to bring a pillow, sleeping bag and toiletries. Families with children are encouraged to bring any additional supplies as necessary.
The Red Cross can be contacted by calling 456-5937, then entering extension 501.
Update on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 12 p.m.
As many as 21,000 members were without power Wednesday morning, Golden Valley Electric Association says.
In a 10:45 a.m. update, the utility company estimated the number was around 15,000.
GVEA says they have been in contact with the Fairbanks North Star Borough about working with the American Red Cross to set up warming centers for people who will be without power for days.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports that employees loaded food into grocery carts and parked them outside after freezers failed at a Fred Meyer.
Across the Interior, there were reports of 7 to 17 inches of snow early Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.
Update on Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 a.m.
Golden Valley Electric Association estimated that about 7,000 to 9,000 members were without power in the Fairbanks, North Pole and Nenana areas as of 6 a.m.
“Some folks will be out longer than others (yes, could be days) as damaged equipment and down power lines will take longer to repair after power has been restored,” an update on GVEA’s website says.
Update on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 10:50 p.m.
As of 10:45 p.m., Golden Valley Electric Association representatives estimate 7,000 to 8,000 meters were without power in Fairbanks, Nenana and North Pole.
GVEA crews and outside contractors have been dispatched and will “work throughout the night and into the next few days until everyone is back on,” according to the company. Along with tree removal, crews are repairing downed lines caused by snow and winds.
The GVEA call center will remain open overnight to facilitate an “overwhelming” number of outage reports from residents. You can report an outage by calling 452-1151.
Thousands of meters serving homes and businesses in the Fairbanks area were affected by power outages as of 7:35 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Golden Valley Electric Association reported the outages were caused by snow-heavy trees bending over into power lines.
Nenana and North Pole areas have also been affected, GVEA officials said in a statement. An estimated 13,000 meters lost power.
All GVEA crews have been dispatched to remove trees, the company said, also noting that “as they remove one, another causes a problem.” Crews will continue to work through the night to restore power.
Outage reports can be made by calling the GVEA call center at 452-1151, or emailing email@example.com.
“Your patience, as this winter storm continues to be worked, is greatly appreciated,” GVEA said in an update.