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Sporadic power outages reported in Fairbanks, outlying areas

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Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2010 6:51 pm | Updated: 1:32 pm, Wed Dec 26, 2012.

updated at midnight Wednesday

FAIRBANKS — Electric customers might count themselves lucky, as power outages from ice on Monday and Tuesday were sporadic and limited to specific neighborhoods.

Golden Valley Electric Association’s representatives said most outages occurred outside of town. They said some were caused by trees that smacked power lines after shedding snow or fell into lines after breaking from the weight of wet snow.

GVEA’s Corinne Bradish said some neighborhoods on Chena Ridge were without power from 9 p.m. Monday until noon Tuesday. She said a few power lines torn down by trees required more time to repair than other cases. Neighborhoods closer to town, where most lines are either buried or free of standing trees, have less chance of losing power, she said.

“The problem is the weight of rain, snow and ice,” she said. The utility expects intermittent problems until the rain stops, she said.

This week’s rain storm has blanketed Fairbanks with ice slippery enough to end school and work for tens of thousands. But it hasn’t caused the type of electricity troubles seen in the past. Bradish pointed to a September 1992 snow storm that left some homes without power for a week.

Bradish said some neighborhoods along the Parks Highway, Old Nenana Highway, Murphy Dome Road and Gilmore Trail were without power Tuesday. She said four crews worked through the night Monday addressing outages.

A second spokeswoman, Dianne Porter, said GVEA is lucky — work crews have generally been able to reach trouble spots despite awful road conditions.

She said GVEA is reserving crews to address outages and backlogging other work.

“Crews are responding as quickly as they can, but of course getting to the sites is slower than usual,” she said early Tuesday afternoon. “We’re all at a crawl.”

Contact staff writer Christopher Eshleman at 459-7582.

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