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Big Kenai Peninsula snowfall causes Christmas outages, avalanche warnings

Posted: December 25, 2012 - 3:33pm  |  Updated: December 26, 2012 - 9:25am

Heavy snowfall caused several scattered power outages around the Kenai Peninsula on Tuesday.

Homer Electric Association spokesman Joe Gallagher in a press release wrote crews worked on several outages in Sterling, Funny River, Nikiski, Homer and Seldovia.

As of press time Tuesday, crews were still working on restoring power to the Scout Lake Loop area, the Moose River Drive area, Glacier Avenue, and Rodelee Lane. There are also scattered outages on Robinson Loop, around Mackey Lake, and the Funny River Road area.

The Peninsula’s largest power outage, however, is in Seldovia where power is out along Jakolof Bay Road to McKeon Flats. That outage began Monday at 6:10 a.m. after the area was hit with more than three feet of snow.

“HEA crews were able to get to the Seldovia area on Tuesday, but the heavy snowfall prevented the crew from being able to patrol the entire line and make the repairs needed to safely energize the line between the generation plant and Big Tutka Bay,” Gallagher wrote in the release. “The crew will return to the area on Wednesday morning to continue the restoration work.”

Residents without power are encouraged to call HEA’s outage line at 1-888-8OUTAGE (1-888-868-8243).

“Please remember to always stay away from down power lines,” Gallagher wrote. “The lines are extremely dangerous and getting too close to a line can cause serious injury or death.”

24-hour avalanche warning issued

Tuesday’s snowfall also triggered an avalanche warning for the Kenai and western Chugach Mountains and in the eastern Turnagain Arm area.

The Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center’s warning was for 24 hours starting Tuesday at 6 a.m., but officials said human-triggered avalanches are likely in the backcountry. Officials urged those without expert avalanche skills to stay out of the backcountry, but the warning does not include ski areas, highways, or railroads where avalanche reduction work has occurred.

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