Strong winds cause damage in South Anchorage

Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- South Anchorage was battered by winds gusting to 80 mph Tuesday.

The winds knocked down trees and pulled down power lines, causing dozens of outages and knocking out power for hundreds of people.

Chugach Electric was flooded with power outage calls starting about 3:20 p.m., said Ed Jenkin, supervisor of system operations. Five hours later, seven crews were still working in the dark.

Jenkin estimated there were around 30 power outages, with anywhere from two to 100 or more people affected by each one. Most of the action was in the Sand Lake and Hillside areas, he said. There were at least three instances where trees took electric lines down, he said.

''We've had more than one where the wires ignited the tree,'' Jenkin said.

The wind picked up a portable building at Fire Station 10 on Rabbit Creek Road and smacked it against the station house. The portable, used to store equipment in the winter, was totaled. Some employees' cars were damaged too, said fire department spokesman Tom Kempton.

The winds had subsided by early Wednesday.

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