High wind damages property, cancels flights in Juneau

Crews attempt to turn over a trailer that was flipped over by wind at the subport lot downtown on Jan. 16, 2020. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)
Crews attempt to right a trailer that was flipped by wind in a Juneau parking lot Thursday.(Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

High winds caused moderate damage and prompted closures throughout the City and Borough of Juneau Thursday. 

The National Weather Service in Juneau extended the high wind warning until 5 a.m. Friday. The agency reported gusts of more than 100 mph Thursday morning in downtown.  

The wind caused multiple flight cancellations. Alaska Airlines spokesperson Tim Thompson said nine flights had been canceled in and out of Juneau as of 12:30 p.m. 

“We’re waiting to see if the weather is actually going to shift for the afternoon and evening flights,” Thompson said. “No decision has been made on those at this point.”

The cancellations are affecting passengers with connections in other parts of the state as well. 

Eaglecrest Ski Area announced it will close for the day due to the wind. It plans to reopen on Friday. 

Despite reports on social media of downed trees and blowing debris, Capital City Fire/Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge said there have not been many calls for wind-related problems.

“Our other big call for this time of year is frostbite and cold injuries with people that are outdoors, either recreating or homeless, that don’t have shelter from the wind,” Etheridge said. “High winds can cause cold injuries pretty quickly.”

The city’s Visitor Industry Task Force cancelled its plans to hear public testimony Thursday evening. The task force will decide on a new date when it meets again on Jan. 21.

Alaska Electric Light & Power experienced a brief outage before 11 a.m. Spokesperson Deb Driscoll said it’s not clear what caused it, but multiple customers throughout the borough were in the dark before power was restored. 

She said wind could cause more outages throughout the day.