Winds knock out power

Second big storm in two weeks hits area


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High winds from yet another powerful storm knocked out power in the Eagle River area for the second consecutive week when about 1,000 homes and businesses lost their lights on Sept. 19-20.

Matanuska Electric Association spokeswoman Suzie Deuser said the outages were scattered across Eagle River, Chugiak, Birchwood and Peters Creek. Most of the disturbances came from windblown trees hitting power lines.

“Most of the trouble came from outside our easement,” she said.

Deuser said MEA can only clear trees inside its easement, but sometimes large trees from outside that zone can become a problem. She said the cooperative does offer to cut “danger” trees on someone’s property outside the easement for free.

Several large storms have hit the area in recent weeks, bringing high winds and rainy conditions to Southcentral Alaska. Deuser said the extreme weather has kept MEA on its toes.

“We have crews working round-the-clock, but they do rotate,” she said.

MEA has been trying to get as much information about outages to the public as it can, Deuser said. If someone loses power, she said the first thing they should do is call MEA’s outage hotline at 696-7697 (696-POWR), which enables MEA to pinpoint outages more quickly.

“That helps us to be aware of the problem,” she said.

MEA also posts updates about outages on its website (www.mea.coop) and on its Facebook page and Twitter feed, where Deuser said information about outages can be found almost as soon as they occur.

“As soon as we get any information we try to get it out to our members,” she said.

 

Contact Matt Tunseth at editor@askastar.com.

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