Anchorage High Wind Warning Lasting Into Monday Morning

Another large wind storm is moving toward Anchorage and surrounding areas. The storm is across the southern Bering Sea but is expected to hit Southcentral Alaska and particularly Anchorage late Saturday night. National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Hopkins says the storm will mainly hit three areas of the city, starting with the Upper Hillside.

“We’re looking at gusts up to a hundred miles an hour along the upper hillside beginning sometime around midnight on Saturday night and those strongest winds should continue for about 12 hours up there. And then after the front passes around noon time or one oclock on Sunday afternoon, those winds should drop down to gusts in the 80 mile an hour range and those should persist for another 8 or 10 hours and begin to diminish sometime on Sunday night,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins says strong winds will affect the Lower Hillside and East Anchorage. Gusts could reach 70 miles an hour or higher, those winds could begin Sunday morning and persist until early afternoon, with 45 mile an hour gusts forecast out till midnight Sunday. The third area to be hit will be west Anchorage and downtown.

“By noon time we expect them to be fairly strong, maybe gusting to 50 maybe 60 miles per hour, which is pretty good for west Anchorage. And that should be noon time on Sunday to about midnight on Sunday,” Hopkins said.

Strong winds may hit the Mat Su valley, possibly up to 70 miles an hour, and there may be strong winds on the Kenai, but the strongest winds are predicted for Anchorage. There is also heavy precipitation anticipated for the eastern Kenai peninsula, north gulf coast, Valdez, Cordova and Whittier. Scott Lindsey is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service river forecast office.

“The amounts that we’re seeing right now from Saturday to Sunday night, a 24 hour period are wide spread 4 to 7 inches and bulls eyes of 9 plus inches,” Lindsey said.

There is also concern for urban streams in Seward, Valdez and Cordova reaching bank levels or possibly over stream banks.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin.

She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 18 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director.

In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications with veteran Alaskan broadcasters Nellie Moore, D’Anne Hamilton, Len Anderson, Sharon McConnell and Veronica Iya. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN.

Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.

Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley.

She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests.

ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori