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Gusts to near 80 mph in Anchorage cause light damage as wind warning extended

  • Author: Alex DeMarban
  • Updated: October 26, 2017
  • Published October 26, 2017

Waves crash onto the rocks at Beluga Point as a weather front produced strong winds in Turnagain Arm on Wednesday.  (Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News)

Strong gusts in South Anchorage overnight led to limited reports of roof damage and power outages as a windstorm that began Wednesday night raked through the Anchorage area.

The strong winds were expected to continue through the afternoon Thursday.

Around 5:30 p.m., about 300 Chugach Electric customers were without power, according to the utility's outage map.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough issued an air quality advisory for the Palmer and Wasilla areas until the wind subsides.

"There is potential for wind-blown dust from the Knik River bed and other localized sources impacting the Butte and surrounding areas, including Palmer and Wasilla, which can result in unhealthy to hazardous air quality," the borough said Thursday.

The borough recommended that children, the elderly and people with heart or lung problems stay inside and limit physical activity during high winds.

Gusts reaching about 80 mph were recorded on the Lower Hillside, Bob Clay, a forecaster with the National Weather Service, said Thursday morning. Winds reached 64 mph at McHugh Creek on Turnagain Arm, he said.

The weather service extended a wind warning for the Anchorage area until 5 p.m. Thursday.

"This is kind of run-of-mill so far, not an overly strong event," Clay said.

The agency received two phone calls from the lower Hillside reporting damaged roofs Wednesday night, he said.

Sixteen customers in the Huffman area of South Anchorage reported power outages, according to Chugach Electric Association's website early Thursday.

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