Wind gusts to 106 mph knock out power from Wasilla to Hope

Zaz Hollander,Tegan Hanlon
A spectacular sunset illuminated lingering clouds after the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A helicopter flies past a spectacular sunset after the rainstorm ended on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A spectacular sunset illuminated lingering clouds after the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A spectacular sunset illuminated lingering clouds after the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A spectacular sunset illuminated lingering clouds after the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
Traffic kicks up standing water along 6th Avenue in downtown Anchorage during a rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A worker attempts to lay down a covering on the roof of the Anchorage Museum during the storm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A pedestrian crosses 5th Avenue during the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A motorist squeezes past a downed spruce tree on Spain Drive on Monday afternoon, October 28, 2013, on the upper Anchorage hillside.
Erik Hill
Ken Schacht braves driving rain to replace plastic sheeting protecting a home under construction on Monday, October 28, 2013, along Carl Street in Bear Valley. A sheet had been in place to keep water out at the project, but "the wind just shredded it," he said, causing some flooding. Wind gusts as high as 106 mph were reported at Bear Valley early Monday morning, according to Dave Stricklan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Erik Hill
Motorists plow through puddles on Lake Otis Parkway as a storm brings wind and rain on Monday, October 28, 2013, in south Anchorage.
Erik Hill
A small spruce tree is shredded by winds on Monday, October 28, 2013, in Bear Valley.
Erik Hill
Water streams from a Bear Valley rooftop on Monday, October 28, 2013, in south Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Street signs lie in the grass following overnight gusts of wind on Monday, October 28, 2013, on the upper Hillside.
Erik Hill
Play equipment is knocked over by strong gusts of wind along Longhorn Drive on Monday, October 28, 2013, on the Anchorage Hillside.
Erik Hill
Metal sheets are blown into a water-filled ditch along Nickleen Street on Monday, October 28, 2013, in Bear Valley.
Erik Hill
Wind gusts split a birch tree along Romania Drive on Monday, October 28, 2013, on the upper Hillside.
Erik Hill
A motorist encounters flooding on Lake Otis Parkway south of East Dowling Road on Monday, October 28, 2013, in south Anchorage.
Erik Hill
A loose wire dangles over Carl Street following gusts of wind as high as 106 mph on Monday, October 28, 2013, in Bear Valley.
Erik Hill
A downed tree hovering above the roadway challenges motorists on Spain Drive on Monday, October 28, 2013, on the upper Hillside.
Erik Hill
A spectacular sunset illuminated lingering clouds after the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A helicopter flies past a spectacular sunset after the rainstorm ended on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A spectacular sunset illuminated lingering clouds after the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A spectacular sunset illuminated lingering clouds after the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A spectacular sunset illuminated lingering clouds after the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
Traffic kicks up standing water along 6th Avenue in downtown Anchorage during a rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A worker attempts to lay down a covering on the roof of the Anchorage Museum during the storm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A pedestrian crosses 5th Avenue during the rainstorm on Monday, Oct. 28, 2013.
Bill Roth
A motorist squeezes past a downed spruce tree on Spain Drive on Monday afternoon, October 28, 2013, on the upper Anchorage hillside.
Erik Hill
Ken Schacht braves driving rain to replace plastic sheeting protecting a home under construction on Monday, October 28, 2013, along Carl Street in Bear Valley. A sheet had been in place to keep water out at the project, but "the wind just shredded it," he said, causing some flooding. Wind gusts as high as 106 mph were reported at Bear Valley early Monday morning, according to Dave Stricklan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Erik Hill
Motorists plow through puddles on Lake Otis Parkway as a storm brings wind and rain on Monday, October 28, 2013, in south Anchorage.
Erik Hill
A small spruce tree is shredded by winds on Monday, October 28, 2013, in Bear Valley.
Erik Hill
Water streams from a Bear Valley rooftop on Monday, October 28, 2013, in south Anchorage.
Erik Hill
Street signs lie in the grass following overnight gusts of wind on Monday, October 28, 2013, on the upper Hillside.
Erik Hill
Play equipment is knocked over by strong gusts of wind along Longhorn Drive on Monday, October 28, 2013, on the Anchorage Hillside.
Erik Hill
Metal sheets are blown into a water-filled ditch along Nickleen Street on Monday, October 28, 2013, in Bear Valley.
Erik Hill
Wind gusts split a birch tree along Romania Drive on Monday, October 28, 2013, on the upper Hillside.
Erik Hill
A motorist encounters flooding on Lake Otis Parkway south of East Dowling Road on Monday, October 28, 2013, in south Anchorage.
Erik Hill
A loose wire dangles over Carl Street following gusts of wind as high as 106 mph on Monday, October 28, 2013, in Bear Valley.
Erik Hill
A downed tree hovering above the roadway challenges motorists on Spain Drive on Monday, October 28, 2013, on the upper Hillside.
Erik Hill

A windstorm pounded parts of Southcentral Alaska early Monday, knocking down trees and cutting off power for thousands of people from the Matanuska Valley to the Kenai Peninsula. A gust of 106 mph was recorded in Bear Valley, on the Anchorage Hillside, with a 105 mph gust at Glen Alps.

By evening, electric service had mostly been restored.

Crews from Matanuska Electric Association and Chugach Electric worked throughout the day removing trees from power lines and ticking off areas where customers could again turn on their lights. Between the two utilities, about 400 homes and businesses still remained in the dark early Monday evening.

"We are clearing the area tree by tree to restore power house by house and block by block at this point, so it is a slow and methodical slog," said MEA spokesman Kevin Brown.

Aside from the high winds, the Anchorage area was also hit with periods of heavy rain on Monday. Some minor flooding was reported around town.

Another storm is expected to move into the region on Tuesday evening, said National Weather Service meteorologist Tom Pepe. People should expect gusty winds and precipitation, he said, but "not as heavy as what we saw today."

At Butte Elementary School, a few trees went down, as did the power on Monday. Principal Dan Kitchin said that, luckily, the school's generator kicked in before the bell rang at 9:15 a.m., and the day could proceed as normal for students.

The highest gust in Mat-Su was 61 mph in Palmer, said Brown, the MEA spokesman.

For Trena Smith, manager of Vagabond Blues in Palmer, the 20-minute morning power outage at the coffee shop meant serving coffee by flashlight.

"It was just a slight delay for the early-morning people," she said.

Smith said the lights turned off about five minutes after the store's 6 a.m. opening.

"It's kind of a common thing, so we usually serve what we can," she said.

Over at the Fred Meyer in Palmer, the generators started working at around the same time, according to store sales director Stephen Longnecker.

He said he didn't notice trees down in the grocery store parking lot but on his way to work he saw a few garbage cans that had rolled into the streets.

"Anything that could blow away blew away," he said.

 

Peak wind gusts in the area Monday morning
Current Alaska weather advisories
By ZAZ HOLLANDER and TEGAN HANLON
Anchorage Daily News