Wind storm flips plane, ignites blazes

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2003

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Wind gusts to 50 mph stirred up big dust clouds along Anchorage streets Sunday, flipped a plane at Merrill Field and sent trees crashing into power lines.

In Anchorage, most wind-related police calls involved damage done by trees hitting buildings, said Anchorage Police Department dispatch supervisor Eric Anderson. Wind rattling windows or gusting through a home with an open window also set off burglar alarms and motion detectors around town, Anderson said.

By evening no injuries due to the wind had been reported.

In the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, falling trees were hitting power lines, causing outages and sparking mostly small fires, said Casey Savage at the Palmer Emergency Dispatch Center.

At 6:23 p.m. the Meadow Lakes and Big Lake fire departments responded to a large fire at the Pittman Sand and Gravel pit off Pittman Road and battled the wind to keep it from spreading.

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