112 mph wind gusts reported in Anchorage

A wet highway with snow on the side
DOT Webcam image from Bird Point on the Seward Highway at 3:33 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020

Winds gusted as high as 112 mph on the Anchorage Hillside on Tuesday morning as a winter storm brought blizzard conditions and heavy rain to parts of Southcentral Alaska. 

Residents of Bear Valley above Anchorage bore the brunt of the heavy winds, said Beau Gjerdingen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Anchorage. 

“We were receiving reports of some damaged garage roofs, as well as some windows broken out of homes,” he said. 

He said there were also a few power outages around Anchorage. Farther south on the Kenai Peninsula, the storm also brought heavy precipitation. Turnagain Pass got several feet of snow along with winds up to 90 mph. In towns along the coast, rains caused some problems for drivers. 

“Down towards Seward where there’s been a lot of ‘ponding’ on the roads down that way just because it’s hard for those roads to drain off because they’re kind of clogged with ice and snow at this point this time of the year. 

Gjerdingen says that while Anchorage escaped the heaviest precipitation Tuesday, the area could see several inches of snow Tuesday night as temperatures drop. That could lead to dangerous driving conditions.