Most service restored after power outage in downtown Anchorage

Approximately 200 Chugach Electric customers in downtown Anchorage lost power Wednesday afternoon because of an equipment malfunction underground, leading to the early closure of City Hall.

Chugach said in a 6 a.m. Thursday Facebook update that the “handful” of customers without power should be restored soon as crews finished work downtown. An update at 1 a.m. Thursday had described about 17 customers still experiencing the outage.

“It is a failed switch, it’s underground,” said Julie Hasquet, Chugach’s head of communications.

The affected area ran from Third Avenue down to the north side of the Delaney Park Strip between A and L streets, a square that covers most of the central downtown business district, including City Hall and the Atwood Building, which houses many state offices.

In a Facebook post Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Dave Bronson said some city services may be disrupted. A sign on City Hall shortly before 4 p.m. said the building was closed. A nearby manhole had three orange safety cones arranged on top.

As of Thursday morning, there was no explanation for what specifically caused the equipment failure.

“We don’t get information from the field yet,” Hasquet said Wednesday, adding that during an active outage, utility crews prioritize restoring service.

Hasquet said that there was no timeline for when electricity would return to impacted customers, but that once the failed switch was isolated, most businesses and buildings would be able to pick up power from other parts of the system.

Zachariah Hughes

Zachariah Hughes covers Anchorage government, the military, dog mushing, subsistence issues and general assignments for the Anchorage Daily News. He also helps produce the ADN's weekly politics podcast. Prior to joining the ADN, he worked in Alaska’s public radio network, and got his start in journalism at KNOM in Nome.