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Storm brings wind, rain to Southcentral

Michelle Theriault Boots
USGS hydrologists Ed Parvin, middle of bridge, and Matt Chilson, right, use a acoustic doppler current profiler to measure the volume of water and cubic feet per second as rainwater spills over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012. Real time water data can be found at their website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ak/nwis/
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Jeanni Brooking and her son Jeremy Brooking, who is carrying his 3-year-old nephew Schuyler, check out the flooded Chester Creek trail at the tunnel beneath Arctic Boulevard, as they walk towards the Valley of the Moon Park on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Corine DePriest and Obi cruise through rainwater that spilled over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater spills over the banks of Westchester Lagoon on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater spills over the banks of Westchester Lagoon on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater spills over the banks of Westchester Lagoon on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater spills over the banks of Westchester Lagoon on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012, and was stacked up against the bridge near Westchester Lagoon.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater flooded West 19th Avenue on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater flooded West 19th Avenue on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater flooded West 19th Avenue on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Ducks take up residence at a home along Chester Creek as rainwater spill over the banks on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Butlter of the North Star community council holds a photograph on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012, of flooding that occurred a few years ago that entered homes along Chester Creek. The two culverts to the left now help divert high water from Chester Creek away from homes.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Matt Chilson deploys an acoustic doppler current profiler as USGS hydrologists measure the volume of water and cubic feet per second as rainwater spills over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012. Real time water data can be found at their website http://
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
USGS hydrologists Ed Parvin, middle of bridge, and Matt Chilson, right, use a acoustic doppler current profiler to measure the volume of water and cubic feet per second as rainwater spills over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012. Real time water data can be found at their website http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ak/nwis/
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Jeanni Brooking and her son Jeremy Brooking, who is carrying his 3-year-old nephew Schuyler, check out the flooded Chester Creek trail at the tunnel beneath Arctic Boulevard, as they walk towards the Valley of the Moon Park on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Corine DePriest and Obi cruise through rainwater that spilled over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater spills over the banks of Westchester Lagoon on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater spills over the banks of Westchester Lagoon on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater spills over the banks of Westchester Lagoon on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater spills over the banks of Westchester Lagoon on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012, and was stacked up against the bridge near Westchester Lagoon.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater flooded West 19th Avenue on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater flooded West 19th Avenue on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater flooded West 19th Avenue on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Ducks take up residence at a home along Chester Creek as rainwater spill over the banks on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Mark Butlter of the North Star community council holds a photograph on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012, of flooding that occurred a few years ago that entered homes along Chester Creek. The two culverts to the left now help divert high water from Chester Creek away from homes.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Rainwater began to spill over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Matt Chilson deploys an acoustic doppler current profiler as USGS hydrologists measure the volume of water and cubic feet per second as rainwater spills over the banks of Chester Creek on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 16, 2012. Real time water data can be found at their website http://
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News

A weekend windstorm largely spared the Anchorage Bowl from the downed trees and widespread power outages feared by storm-weary residents.

But the storm system was strong enough for winds of more than 100 mph to clobber portions of the upper Hillside early Sunday, including a gust of 120 mph recorded on an unofficial wind gauge in Bear Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

Scattered power outages were reported throughout the day.

The storm carried enough rain -- somewhere between a half inch and an inch in much of the city -- to swamp roadways, swell creeks and cause debris to clog storm drains, according to the NWS.

Chester Creek was the worst, with water lapping onto the Spenard Road bridge at Westchester Lagoon much of the day. The city cautioned residents against trying to clear clogged culverts with rakes on their own, lest they be swept into fast moving water.

High winds hit the upper Hillside early Sunday morning, said Weather Service meteorologist Andy Dixon.

"It started to rock and roll up there," he said.

The lower Hillside and East Anchorage saw peak gusts of between 60-70 mph Sunday morning, the Weather Service said.

The storm tapered off and hit a lull, including even the brief appearance of some patches of blue sky Sunday afternoon, before picking back up in West Anchorage in the evening.

The storm wasn't as damaging as it could have been, Dixon said. The last storm caused so much damage -- downed trees across much of the city and long power outages -- because high winds actually hit the flatlands of Anchorage, instead of exclusively whipping the mountains and Turnagain Arm as is typical, he said.

This time, the high winds never made it into the city in any strength, sparing more widespread tree-and-power-line mayhem.

"There was definitely the potential for damaging winds," he said. "Some subtle nuances kind of foiled us at the last minute."

Still, city residents prepared by charging their phones and laptops and clearing some store shelves of candles, water, flashlight batteries and other emergency supplies.

The storm left other parts of Southcentral sodden and eyeing rising rivers.

The Weather Service issued a flood warning for drainages coming out of the Talkeetna Mountains toward the Parks Highway.

But as of Sunday evening, fears that rivers such as the Kashwitna would flood onto the Parks Highway hadn't materialized, said Matanuska-Susitna Borough spokeswoman Patti Sullivan.

Borough emergency managers hadn't heard from any residents of flood-prone areas asking for help evacuating their homes, she said.

Some rivers were at what's considered minor flood stage, she said.

In often-sodden Cordova the Weather Service recorded 8 to 9 inches of rainfall, said Dixon.

"Time to build an ark, or at least get a paddle," the Cordova Times wrote to its followers on Facebook.

That might not be a bad idea for Anchorage residents: the same jet stream pattern that supplied the most recent storm seems poised to bring two much smaller systems into the Anchorage area this week, Dixon said.

Photos: Heavy rain floods Chester Creek
Current Alaska weather warnings
By MICHELLE THERIAULT BOOTS
Anchorage Daily News