High winds cause power outages in portions of the Matanuska Valley

High wind warnings allowed to expire at 7 p.m. Saturday
Scattered power outages remain but overall improving conditions heading into Sunday.
Published: Nov. 4, 2022 at 5:43 PM AKDT|Updated: Nov. 5, 2022 at 9:04 PM AKDT
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PALMER, Alaska (KTUU) - All outages have been fixed.

Prior updates

7:45 p.m. Update: Matanuska Electric Association reported 554 customers without power in Eagle River proper. This was down from the 1322 customers that were without power earlier on Saturday as strong wind gusts as high as 60 mph blew through the region. Crews were assigned earlier in the afternoon, and continue to work on restoring power. Winds will continue to gradually subside overnight into mid-day Sunday. Please read and see the latest forecast discussion and video from the Alaska’s Weather Source team.

11 a.m. Update: At 11 a.m. Matanuska Electric Association reported 1322 customers are without power in Eklutna‚ Peter’s Creek, Birchwood, and Chugiak.

Also, as of 11 a.m. peak wind gusts reached 51 mph at the Airport in Palmer. Wind gusts are still forecast to reach 70 to 80 mph through early evening.

High Wind Warnings have been issued by the National Weather Service for Saturday in Southcentral Alaska.

The Matanuska Valley as well as northwest Prince William Sound, Valdez and Thompson Pass are under the warnings Saturday until 7 p.m.

The National Weather Service issued the High Wind Warning for the Matanuska Valley from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Saturday. Winds are predicted to come from the northeast at 40-55 mph with gusts up to 75 mph.

“Gusty northeasterly winds will develop tonight, increasing through Saturday morning. Peak winds are expected early Saturday afternoon. Winds will then gradually diminish Saturday night,” the warning said. “People are urged to secure loose objects that could be blown around or damaged by the wind. Prepare for the possibility of widespread power outages. Use caution if you must drive...High winds may move loose debris, damage property, and cause power outages. Travel will be difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.”

The High Wind Warning for areas near Valdez will begin at 4 a.m. and last until 7 p.m. Winds are forecasted to be between 45-55 mph and gust up to 80 mph.

“North to northeast winds will steadily increase tonight from Thompson Pass to Valdez, then peak during the day Saturday,” the warning said. “Blowing and drifting snow could locally reduce visibility to one half mile or less at times.”