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City remains under high wind warning through Sunday

Casey Grove

An updated version of this story has been posted here.

Update, 9:45 a.m.: The high-wind warning remains in effect for the Anchorage area through Sunday evening, with the strongest winds concentrated on the Hillside and east side of town, according to the National Weather Service. Gusts to 100 mph are possible in the higher elevations, the Weather Service says.

Several power outages have been reported. Anchorage also remains under a flood advisory, with potential for minor flooding in low or flood-prone areas.

"The strongest winds will peak later this morning as a weather front moves through the Anchorage Bowl," the Weather Service said in a statement at 5 a.m. "Warning level winds of 60 to 80 mph with gusts to 100 mph will continue along the Hillside and Turnagain Arm through early this evening"

Strong, gusty winds will spread over the rest of the city Sunday morning through evening, the Wether Service said.

Chugach Electric reports 1,777 customers were without power starting around 3 a.m., but said shortly after 6 a.m. that power had been restored to most.

Smaller outages were affecting customers in East Anchorage, Oceanview and in the Rabbit Creek and Goldenview areas, said Chugach spokesman Phil Steyer. Chugach customers can report outages by calling 762-7888 or going to the utility's website, which includes a map of outage areas.

Among the warnings and advisories in effect:

A high wind warning for Anchorage, Eagle River and Turnagain Arm to 8 p.m. Sunday.

A flood advisory for the Anchorage and Eagle River through 10 a.m. Monday.

A flood advisory for drainages in the Susitna Valley for streams draining from the Talkeetna Mountains, including the Little Su, Montana Creek, Willow Creek and the Talkeetna River.

A flood warning for rivers and streams in the Seward area, including Resurrection River and Salmon Creek.

A high wind warning for Alaska Range passes, including the Parks Highway though the Nenana River canyon from midnight to 6 p.m. Sunday, with gusts to 75 mph. All current warnings, watches and advisories here.

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Update, 3 a.m.: The high-wind warning remains in effect for the Anchorage area through Sunday, with winds increasing through the morning, the National Weather Service says.

"The strongest winds will continue to strengthen over the upper Hillside and Turnagain Arm through the early morning hours," occasionally extending to the lower Hillside, East Anchorage and the Eagle River valley, the Weather Service said in a statement.

"Strong southerly winds then will spread to the rest of the Anchorage Bowl as a weather front moves through the region Sunday morning. Warning-level winds will diminish early Sunday evening."

A flood advisory remains in effect for the city.

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Original story:

By CASEY GROVE / Anchorage Daily News

Forecasters watching what's expected to be the second 100 mph windstorm to slam Southcentral Alaska in the past two weeks said Saturday it's tracking as predicted and has prompted a high-wind warning and flood advisory for the Anchorage area and a flood warning for other areas to the south.

Winds of 35-50 mph with gusts up to 65 mph are possible in the Anchorage Bowl and lower Hillside, with winds of 70-85 mph and gusts to 110 mph possible on the upper Hillside and Turnagain Arm, the National Weather Service said.

A special statement from the Weather Service late Saturday afternoon described it as "an unseasonable storm of considerable size and strength."

Wind was picking up Saturday afternoon and expected to peak overnight. The powerful storm is dumping rain on Prince William Sound communities, which should see the worst, said weather service forecaster Joshua Maloy.

"That area's going to bear the brunt, in terms of rain and in terms of wind," Maloy said.

Hydrologists are keeping a close eye on rivers and streams in the entire Prince William Sound region, Maloy said, and Saturday afternoon issued a flood warning for the Seward area, meaning flooding was imminent.

In Anchorage, the highest winds in the early morning hours Sunday are expected to move down from the higher elevations on the east and continue heading west through Sunday. Electric utilities have warned of possible power outages, and as Anchorage residents stocked up on supplies, some reported stores selling out of things like flashlights, batteries and lamp oil.

On Saturday afternoon, the Weather Service posted a flood advisory for the Anchorage Bowl and Eagle River, warning of potential for rapidly rising water on area streams and the potential for minor flooding.

Anchorage airport operations managers say they are waiting to see how the storm progresses and if turbulence might force planes to divert to Fairbanks as they did during the storm that hit Sept. 4.

They're also doing what many others are doing: Looking for and securing things that might blow around in the wind, said John Stocker, and operations manager at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.

"It's a fairly normal Alaska thing, getting ready for the storm," Stocker said.

Officials at the Salvation Army, at 1701 C Street, were making plans to serve meals and offer showering facilities Sunday if needed.

Among the warnings and advisories in effect:

A high wind warning for Anchorage, Eagle River and Turnagain Arm from 8 p.m. Saturday to 8 p.m. Sunday.

A flood advisory for the Anchorage and Eagle River through 10 a.m. Monday.

A flood advisory for drainages in the Susitna Valley for streams draining from the Talkeetna Mountains, including the Little Su, Montana Creek, Willow Creek and the Talkeetna River.

A flood warning for rivers and streams in the Seward area, including Resurrection River and Salmon Creek.

A high wind warning for Alaska Range passes, including the Parks Highway though the Nenana River canyon from midnight to 6 p.m. Sunday, with gusts to 75 mph.

All current warnings, watches and advisories here.

Current Alaska weather warnings
By CASEY GROVE
Anchorage Daily News / adn.com