Weather

High winds downed trees, caused power outages in Southcentral Alaska

Update, 11 a.m. Monday: Strong winds combined with rainfall caused several power outages in Southcentral Alaska late Sunday and early Monday, officials said.

Outages were reported in Cooper Landing, Indian and the Turnagain neighborhood of Anchorage, said Chugach Electric spokesman Barry Piser.

“That included either trees contacting power lines or bumped or broken insulators caused by stress from the heavy winds,” he said.

A 65 mph gust was reported Sunday night near Indian on Turnagain Arm during a period of light rain, said Aviva Braun of the National Weather Service.

Crews on Monday morning were still repairing an outage that left 50 customers without power in Cooper Landing, Piser said. All other outages had been restored by 10:30 a.m., according to the company’s outage map.

Piser said it’s important for Alaskans to be prepared for outages as winter approaches.

“We know that people nowadays rely on electricity, particularly with their phones and even working from home,” he said. “We are pretty responsive, but be prepared in case there is a longer one.”

Original story:

Strong winds are expected to hit the Anchorage area Sunday morning into Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

The southeasterly winds could down some trees or branches and will make driving more dangerous.

The heavy winds were expected to develop in the early afternoon and throughout the day Sunday. In higher elevations and along the Turnagain Arm, gusts of 50 to 60 mph are expected in the evening, the weather service said. On the Lower Hillside, gusts up to 50 mph are expected.

“Gusty winds up to 40 mph are possible in the Anchorage Bowl this evening, especially over south and west Anchorage,” The weather service said. “25 to 35 mph gusts are expected across all of Anchorage and Eagle River from late tonight through Monday evening.”

The winds are expected to die down early Monday morning in the Anchorage Bowl, but will remain in Eagle River and throughout higher elevations until diminishing Monday evening, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Michael Kutz.

Anchorage residents should secure anything that could be impacted by the winds, and Kutz warned that the winds could make driving dangerous, especially for those in taller vehicles. The winds could also cause power outages, he said.

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