A winter storm hit the central Kenai Peninsula on Tuesday evening, packing high winds and causing a major power outage that left approximately 4,200 Kenai-Soldotna homes in the dark for more than 2 1/2 hours.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm advisory Tuesday for wind gusts of up to 55 mph and snow accumulations of as much as five to 10 inches for the central peninsula.
When the winds hit Tuesday evening, they played havoc with the area's power grid, according to Homer Electric Association spokesperson Joe Gallagher.
Gallagher said the area's power outage was caused when wind knocked over a tree, which fell onto a transmission line between the two towns.
"It took out three of our substations," Gallagher said.
The outage occurred at approximately 8:55 p.m. Gallagher said HEA crews were forced to follow the line until they located the section where the tree hit.
"We had to just run the line," he said.
Crews then had to remove the downed tree from the line before power could be restored, which happened at approximately 11:40 p.m.
Gallagher said the outage in the Kenai-Soldotna area was just one of several caused by the storm.
"We've had some sporadic outages from all points between Kachemak Bay and Nikiski," he said.
According to the weather service, the storm is expected to taper off today. Blowing snow is still in the forecast through Thursday.
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