AD Main Menu

Wind rattles Muldoon, Hillside, barely ruffles much of city

A trampoline took flight during the windstorm Tuesday, October 8, 2013 on Longhorn Street, off Upper O'Malley Road on the Anchorage Hillside.
Erik Hill
Sign damage in Muldoon
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News
Wind knocked down a tree at 32nd Avenue and Brookridge Drive in Muldoon.
ERIK HILL / Anchorage Daily News

UPDATE 11:30 AM TUESDAY:

Sarah Wiggers, Chugach Electric spokeswoman, said the outage in Muldoon that affected 2,000 people has been fixed, along with an outage that affected about 1,500 Hillside residents.

She said the power at O'Malley Elementary School is now back on and only scattered outages are affecting Hillside and South Anchorage residents.

According to the National Weather Service, at 11 a.m. wind gusts in the Glen Alps area were peaking at 59 mph, but winds at Campbell Circle and Seward Highway were blowing at just 2 mph.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for Anchorage with special attention to Chester Creek until 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The windstorm varied dramatically in strength, triggering outages in parts of town and whimpering through other parts with barely a strong breeze. 

Residents using Facebook reported trees down in Muldoon and on the Hillside, as well as minor property damage including damaged fences.

The National Weather Service says the storm was strongest along higher elevations and Turnagain Arm, with winds up to 60 mph, gusting to 84 mph in the Paradise Valley area. 

Meteorologist Bill Ludwig says winds in westerly parts of the city were far calmer, with some areas there seeing winds in the low 20s, although a 45-mph gust was recorded at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. 

The storm is expected to die down by noon. 

Readers, are you seeing any storm damage in your area of Southcentral Alaska? Email bbrasch@adn.com with details.

----------

UPDATE 9:20 AM TUESDAY:

Heidi Embley, Anchorage School District spokeswoman, said that the power is now back on at South High, but the power is down at O'Malley Elementary.

She said the school does have a generator, but it produces only enough power to light the hallways, not the classrooms, which have windows.

If parents decide to keep their children home, the absence will count as an "excused absence" Embley said.

The National Weather Service has issued a flooding advisory for Anchorage area streams, in effect until 10 a.m. Wednesday. Chester Creek is expected to crest above "minor flood stage" at about 10 p.m. Tuesday.

---------------

UPDATE 8:20 AM TUESDAY:

Gusting winds have triggered one outage in Muldoon that is affecting 2,000 customers, said Sarah Wiggers, spokeswoman for Chugach Electric.

She said there are scattered outages on the Hillside that are leaving another 200 to 500 people without power.

South High School is running on a generator, said Heidi Embley, Anchorage School District spokeswoman, but the school is open as usual.

Municipal Light and Power spokeswoman Ronnie Dent said no customers in its service area are experiencing power outages.

------------

UPDATE 5 AM TUESDAY:

Strong winds forecast for the Anchorage area are still expected to peak Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said early Tuesday, with the  high wind warning  in effect until noon and heavy rain at times. Winds will taper off in the afternoon, with showers continuing into the evening, the weather service says.

-------------

UPDATE 4:30 PM MONDAY:

Strong winds forecast for the Anchorage area will peak between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service said Monday. 

A high wind warning remains in effect from 1 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, with gusts up to 75-90 mph possible on the Hillside and in East Anchorage. The rest of Anchorage can expect gusts of 50-65 mph, according to the NWS.  

Chugach Electric Association crews are on notice that extra workers may be needed to fix storm-caused power outages, said company spokesman Phil Steyer.

Chugach Electric serves 80,000 customers in the Anchorage, Turnagain Arm and Kenai Peninsula areas.

Storms that knocked out powers to thousands in September 2012 taught the company that many customers aren't prepared for sustained outages, Steyer said.

This storm isn't expected to be as strong, according to the National Weather Service.

Outages can be reported to Chugach Electric using the company's website.

 

Municipal Light and Power customers can call the company's hotline at 279-7671. 

 ---------

UPDATE 1 PM MONDAY:

The National Weather Service in Anchorage has adjusted its high wind warning ahead of a fast-moving storm expected to peak in Southcentral Tuesday morning. The warning is now in effect from 1 a.m. to noon Tuesday.

--------------

UPDATE 8 AM MONDAY:

The National Weather Service in Anchorage has upgraded a high wind watch to a warning ahead of a fast-moving storm expected to peak in Southcentral Tuesday morning. The warning, in effect from 4 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, means forecasters expect a "hazardous wind event" to occur and encourage people to secure loose objects. They are predicting 60 to 75 mph winds along Turnagain Arm with gusts to 90 mph; in other parts of Anchorage, the forecast calls for 25 to 40 mph winds with gusts to 60 mph. 

--------------

EARLIER STORY:

A powerful storm brewing over the North Pacific Ocean may wallop Southcentral Alaska with high winds and heavy rains starting Monday night, the National Weather Service said in an advisory Sunday.

The storm's path is still somewhat uncertain, said NWS Anchorage office lead forecaster Bob Clay. But forecasters believe it will impact the Anchorage area.

"It does look like we're going to have significant winds in the Anchorage bowl and Turnagain Arm," he said.

On Sunday afternoon the National Weather Service issued a high wind watch for the Anchorage area Monday night and Tuesday.

Winds along Turnagain Arm and on the Hillside could reach 60-70 mph, with gusts of 90 mph possible, according to the advisory. Low-lying parts of Anchorage could see winds of 25-40 mph and gusts of 60 mph.

Winds are expected to build Monday night and peak Tuesday morning, diminishing by Tuesday afternoon.

Heavy rains could swell creeks and rivers, a weather advisory also released Sunday said.

"The fact that this is an early season storm means the impact of heavy rain and strong winds could be greater than during the middle of winter," the statement said. "The ground is not frozen and there are still leaves on the trees in most areas, which could lead to downed trees and power outages if these winds do occur."

Southwest Alaska residents will also see high winds and heavy rains, according to the NWS.

Minor coastal flooding in the Kuskokwim Bay area is possible.

Forecasters said they don't think the weather system will be a repeat of a powerful 2012 early September storm that uprooted trees all across the city and knocked out power for days in some neighborhoods.

"There's some similarities but ... at this point we're not expecting anything of that magnitude," Clay said.

The National Weather Service's Anchorage office is issuing forecasts as usual despite the ongoing government shutdown, he said.

Staff members aren't leading tours or school talks until the shutdown ends.

"We're only involved with things that directly impact protection of life and property," at the moment, Clay said.

 

Peak windstorm gusts in Southcentral
Weather warnings and advisories for Southcentral Alaska
NWS small-stream flooding advisory for Anchorage

Anchorage Daily News and Associated Press reports