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Up to 1,000 without power in Interior Alaska; trees down along Alaska Highway

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Posted: Sunday, September 16, 2012 11:36 pm

Updated 11:20 a.m.

FAIRBANKS - Approximately 500 to 1,000 GVEA customers remained without power as of about 8:30 this morning because of high winds in Interior Alaska, according to the electricity co-op’s website.

The hardest hit areas were Delta Junction, Nenana, North Pole, Salcha and northern Fairbanks. Power has been restored in some areas. In all about 2,000 members were affected.

The outages were mostly caused by trees falling onto power lines during periods of heavy winds that blew into the Interior Sunday. Several fires were sparked, but none got out of hand.

Five GVEA line crews and four contract crews responded Sunday night and seven crews are in the field.

GVEA asks people to stay back from tress on power lines and to report outages by calling 452-1151.

Alaska Department of Transportation crews were clearing trees from the right of way along the Alaska Highway between Tok and Delta Junction late Monday. Travelers were advised to be prepared for delays.

••••

Updated 6:25 a.m.

FAIRBANKS — High winds in Interior Alaska knocked out the power in Healy and downed trees along a long stretch of the Alaska Highway.

Television and radio transmitters in Fairbanks also were affected, with public radio station KUAC-FM still out early Monday morning.

Residents of Healy on the Parks Highway reported losing electricity for about six hours Sunday.

The power went out about 10 a.m. and came back about 4 p.m., according to Vojin Savic, an employee at the Miner’s Market and Deli.

The Alaska Department of Transportation said a large number of trees had been knocked down along the Alaska Highway between Tok and Delta Junction. Crews were working to clear them Monday, but travelers could expect delays.

Phone calls to Golden Valley Electric Association requesting more information about the extent and cause of the outage were not immediately returned Sunday afternoon. GVEA did have information about a one-hour outage Thursday afternoon along on the Parks Highway. That outage was reportedly caused by a static line falling across two phases on the Southern Intertie transmission line.

Heavy winds were reported at the time of Sunday’s outage.

Contact staff writer Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter, @FDNMcrime.

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