The National Weather Service says wind gusts could reach 80 to 100 miles per hour tonight at higher elevations around Anchorage, and 60 miles per hour in town. Power companies are bracing for outages and emergency management officials are asking people to be prepared.
With winds predicted to reach upwards of 80 miles per hour in parts of Anchorage tonight, the power companies are preparing for a busy night. Sarah Wiggers is the Communications Coordinator for Chugach Electric. She says power outages are expected and Chugach has crews on hand to handle downed trees and lines.
“There’s not a whole lot we can do in preparation of a storm. We always like to tell our customers you know if you see a downed power line, don’t go near it, don’t touch it, don’t do any of that, just call us immediately,” Wiggers said.
Anchorage Municipal Light & Power representatives say they also have crews in place to respond to downed lines. The strongest winds are expected to develop along Turnagain Arm and the higher elevations of the Anchorage Hillside, the Eagle River Valley and parts of East Anchorage tonight. With the ground still unfrozen and leaves still on the trees, officials worry the storm could take down trees. Jeremy Zidek is a with the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. He says his office is not issuing an official advisory, but they are asking residents to secure outdoor equipment and pick up loose debris before the storm hits. Zidek also says it’s a great opportunity to put an emergency kit and plan together.
“The kit has basic supplies like food, water, a flashlight, a first aid kit. The plan is a communication plan so families can communicate if an event happens, everyone knows who to call, where to go,” Zidek said.
High profile vehicles traveling along Turnagain Arm are also being asked to use extreme caution.
The High Wind Warning runs until 5:00 a.m. Wednesday.
See below for storm-preparedness links and contact information:
- National Weather Service Statement
- Alaska Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
- Municipal Light and Power
ML&P hotline for power outages/downed lines & trees: 279-7671 or toll-free at 1-888-999-5340
- Chugach Electric
Chugach Electric numbers to report power outages/downed lines & trees: 762-7888 or toll-free at 1-800-478-7494