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Powerful Storm Causes Widespread Power Outage

ANCHORAGE, AK – Sept. 5, 2012 – A powerful storm knocked out power to most of Municipal Light & Power’s 30,000 customers around 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, as all three of its major transmission lines were damaged by fallen trees and wind.

     Though it is unknown at this time when power will be fully restored to all customers, by 5:15 a.m. this morning, crews were able begin slowly bringing power back throughout ML&P’s service territory. The transmission system has been restored.

     Darkness and high winds hampered efforts overnight. With daylight, ML&P crews will be better able to assess the damage.

     ML&P was able to maintain power to Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson on the Elmendorf side through Substation 12, as well as some parts of Mountain View and the Tikahtnu Commons mall area via Substation 20 throughout the evening.

     Without at least one clear transmission circuit, however, power could not be restored to substations which feed distribution lines to most customers. As fast as overnight crews could re-energize the lines, new wind damage occurred along multiple paths.

     This loss of major transmission lines is unprecedented. No one at the utility can remember an incident like this in more than 30 years.

     “This is a once-in-a-generation kind of storm,” said ML&P General Manager James Posey.

     ML&P will continue to clear and repair power lines in order to restore power as soon as possible.

     Customers are asked to help by contacting ML&P with information about downed power lines. Call the Power Outage Hotline at 279-7671.

Sep 7, 2012 12:09 am
 Posted by  cmdurand

I believe this is the "new norm" for storms. ML&P should be prepared for this type of emergency throughout the coming years, per most scientists' estimates, per the Science and Discovery Channels reports, since 2008.

Also, in the Mat-Su valley, high winds of up to 100 mph are quite common, per most local long-term residents.

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