Power outages on the Kenai Peninsula are expected to continue into the weekend, with about 800 homes lacking electricity Thursday evening.
According to Homer Electric Association’s Joe Gallagher, most of the outages were in Nikiski, with additional outages in Sterling and scattered throughout the central Peninsula.
The outages were the result of powerline damage done by wind storms that began Tuesday night. The association made progress restoring power to some areas Thursday, but had additional outages reported in the Mackey Lake and Robinson Loop area near Sterling Thursday afternoon.
“The wind did pick up a little bit out there,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher said work would continue throughout Friday, and likely into the weekend. Repairs were being conducted around the clock.
“We will always have crews in the field,” Gallagher said.
The association brought in extra linemen to help with the repair work. A total of about 45 linemen were working on repairs, more than double HEA’s usual 17. The additional workforce came from three contractors: City Electric, Alaska Line Builders, and Norcon.
“We’re throwing everything we can at it,” Gallagher said.
Thursday, crews working in North Kenai and Nikiski found worse damage than the utility expected, Gallagher said.
“There are so many trees down that it is just going to be a long haul,” he said.
The Kenai and Nikiski Fire Stations are open as temporary warming stations.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough closed its shelter at the Kenai Armory at noon Thursday after just one person used it the night before, according to a statement from Eric Mohrmann from the borough’s Office of Emergency Management.
HEA has asked that people stay away from downed power lines, and report them, and any outages, to 1-888-868-8243.
Molly Dischner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.