Heavy snowfall cuts power to thousands around Fairbanks

School and University of Alaska Fairbanks classes are cancelled and thousands are without power this morning in the Fairbanks area due to heavy snow.

Download Audio

Golden Valley Electric Association spokeswoman Corrine Braddish blames heavy wet flakes sticking to trees.

“Probably because some of the trees haven’t lost their leaves completely,” Braddish said. “And the weight has bended them over into power lines.”

Wednesday morning’s estimate from Golden Valley puts the number without power in the Fairbanks, North Pole and Nenana areas at between 7,000-9,000. Braddish says GVEA’s crews are in the field making repairs.

“People are just gonna have to have patience as they are removing trees and then re-energizing the line,” she said. “That’s usually when they’re gonna find there might another tree on another block over that they have to remove as well.”

Golden Valley anticipates that some areas could be without power for days. The snow storm is one for Fairbanks record book, according National Weather Service meteorologist Christopher Cox.

“For the official observation at the airport for yesterday, we had 11.2 inches of snow,” he said. “And that is the most snowfall on a September day that’s ever been recorded.”

Cox says the monthly total, which he expects to top 20 inches, will move this month solidly into second place behind the record setting snowy September of 1992, when over 24 inches fell.