Multiple power outages occur in Juneau due to high winds

Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - High winds gusting 65 mph are impacting power in Juneau.

As of 5:17 p.m. Monday, power was restored to all areas, including Back Loop and Mendenhall Peninsula according to Debbie Driscoll.

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Vice President and Director of Consumer Affairs for AEL&P Debbie Driscoll gave an update on power outages occurring due to wind Monday afternoon.

“As you can see out the window the wind right now is really bad. And we’re anticipating that we’ll probably have quite a few more outages before the storm is through,” she said. “The first outage was a tree in the line that came down between Auke Bay and the ferry terminal and the crew has cleared that tree and has restored power to that location.”

There is an additional outage that’s occurring in the back loop area, essentially between Montana Creek Road and Wren Drive.

“That’s due to the conductors making contact, the power lines are slapping together. And the crews are actively working on that right now. It’s basically all hands on deck,” Driscoll said. “Crew is at the ready. I mean, we anticipate that they’re going to be working throughout the whole day and night.”

The power outage occurring on back loop is estimated to last until 5 p.m. It began at about 2:00 p.m.

The public can stay up to date on AELP’s website, their Facebook page, and Twitter/X.

Driscoll added there’s a new easy way to report outages in your area.

“There’s a couple ways they can report outages. We’ve updated our system so you can actually text an outage. Folks can just text the word ‘OUTAGE’ to 55050. We have that listed on our website and on social media, as long as they’re using a cell phone that’s associated with their account,” she said. “Then they don’t have to, you know, wait on hold or talk to anyone. They can just text the word ‘OUTAGE’ to that number. Alternately, they can of course just call our office.”

If people see that multiple people in their area are out, they don’t need to call because then AEL&P will already be aware of the situation.

Driscoll advised the public to stay safe, have candles at the ready, and stay away from downed power lines.

At about 3:30 p.m. Monday, AEL&P began responding to reports of a tree in the line on Mendenhall Penisula Road.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Rick Fritsch gave details on the storm. They don’t expect it to last longer than Monday night.

“This is associated with a low that used to be a storm force low, 50 knots or better. That is right off the outer coast and tracking off to the northwest. Here in Juneau, did not expect the winds to get as high as they did. We were expecting wind gusts to be around 50 miles an hour as opposed to 65 miles an hour,” he said. “But it came on pretty strong and very fast. Like things have been farther south Ketchikan and Metlakatla. And Hydaburg farther to the south, they got hit hard with some high winds as well.”

The strongest winds he’s seen so far Monday afternoon were at the Juneau International Airport at 65 miles an hour.

Fritsch expects the winds to cause some flight cancellations for Monday afternoon but for the high wind warning to end at 6:00 p.m. Monday.

“It may actually even be over before then,” he said. “As a matter of fact, tomorrow is going to be a brave new world. Looking at 5 to 10 knots, possibly 15 over Lynn Canal. Elsewhere over land is going to be a five-hour mile day.”