Severe weather around the holiday weekend caused numerous power outages throughout Hope, including one that left residents without power from Monday to Wednesday.
The spate of outages started Friday. The power went out and was restored the same day, and the same happened again Saturday, Chugach Electric spokeswoman Julie Hasquet said.
The power went out again for Hope residents on Monday afternoon, she said, and on Wednesday morning there were 229 customers without power, according to the company’s outage map. By about 2 p.m., the repairs were finished and power was restored, Hasquet said.
Outages were reported and repaired over the weekend in nearby Cooper Landing and Moose Pass.
Crews worked to repair downed wires, broken crossarms and damaged poles in Hope, but the weather made it challenging to access the repair areas, which are in a heavily forested area, Hasquet said.
Crews on Monday were stopped on the Seward Highway on the way to Hope because of a fatal crash. When the traffic flow resumed about three hours later, Hasquet said, it was too dangerous to continue driving with whiteout conditions along the highway.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, crews were working by snowmachine to locate areas that needed repairs, Hasquet said.
“We have four of our linemen fixing stuff that needs repairs and two are ahead of them trying to scout for more damage,” she said Wednesday morning. “So that’s why it’s difficult in this case ... this is damage that we keep finding.”
Hasquet said the storm system that moved through the area recently was extremely powerful, complicating their response.
“This is often a challenging area because of the weather and because of the vast forest around it,” she said. “Getting into sites and having to use snowmachines, it’s not like you’re just walking, patrolling a line on foot.”
Chugach Electric is considering bringing a generator to the area for the winter that could power Hope in the event of an outage, but Hasquet said officials are still figuring out the details of how that would work.
“We do take all of this very seriously. Our job is to provide power to people, so we’re always going to do everything we can to get areas restored,” she said.