Anchorage

Storm blasts Southcentral Alaska with wind gusts over 100 mph

A storm bringing strong wind, rain and snow to Southcentral Alaska on Tuesday caused power outages from Anchorage to Whittier and damaged some homes on the Anchorage Hillside.

A gust of 112 mph was reported early Tuesday in the Bear Valley area of South Anchorage. National Weather Service meteorologist Dave Kochevar said there were reports of damaged garage doors in the area.

Other parts of the Anchorage Hillside experienced gusts of 60 to 100 mph Tuesday morning and afternoon. The weather service reported a peak gust of 133 mph on Sunburst mountain on the western Kenai Peninsula.

Across Anchorage, roughly 1,800 customers were without power at one point Tuesday morning, according to the Chugach Electric outage map. Power was restored to almost all Anchorage-area customers by evening.

Snowfall was expected to continue in Anchorage into Wednesday morning and taper off by noon, according to the weather service forecast.

Turnagain Pass was expected to see the most snow from the storm.

Kochevar advised that drivers continue to monitor the forecast and said anyone hoping to ski, snowboard or snowmachine in the pass during the holiday week should pay attention to the avalanche forecast. Updated road conditions are available on the state’s 511 map.

High avalanche danger was forecast at all elevations Tuesday in Turnagain Pass, and the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center also warned that smaller roof avalanches were possible.

“Warming temperatures and rain could cause roofs to begin to shed their snow,” Tuesday’s avalanche forecast said. “Pay special attention to children, pets and where you park your car.”

Driving conditions were considered difficult on the Seward Highway past the junction with Hope because of ice and slush on the roadway, according to the Department of Transportation.

“If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you,” the weather service advised in the blizzard warning. “If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle.”

In the Seward and Moose Pass areas, rain fell overnight and Kochevar said it will likely continue Wednesday morning.

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