Heavy snowfall on Kenai Peninsula power lines Monday led to scattered outages through Christmas Day, with most customers back online but service still being restored Thursday to parts of Seldovia and some of Channel 2's translators.
According to Homer Electric Association spokesperson Joe Gallagher, a power line between Seldovia and Six Mile Jakolof Bay Road was re-energized at about 7:15 p.m. Thursday. Gallagher says those customers are the only ones still without power Thursday, with minor outages in Anchor Point and Sterling repaired Wednesday.
"(Forty-six) consumers on South Boone, McGill Street, Lund Road, Barbara Creek, and Beckford Avenue are still without power. HEA crews need to visually inspect those lines to ensure they are safe to energize," Gallagher wrote in a statement late Thursday. "In addition, there are 132 meters between Six Mile and McKeon Flats that are without power at this time."
The outage began when a Monday snow storm in Southcentral Alaska dumped three to four feet on the region, dropping trees on lines and keeping repair crews from reaching equipment until Tuesday.
Crews patrolled the affected power lines Wednesday, ensuring that they were ready for use again. Gallagher says running power through the lines prematurely could damage generators and lead to more widespread outages.
“At this point, it appears there is a problem on the line between Big Tutka Bay and Little Tutka Bay,” Gallagher wrote in a Wednesday email. “Due to the heavy snowfall, HEA cannot risk energizing the line between the Gerry Willard Generation Plant in Seldovia and Big Tutka Bay until it is certain the line is clear of all trees and other interference.”
HEA has restored most of the Tuesday Kenai Peninsula outages, which also affected Soldotna and the Kenai Keys area, as well as parts of Kasilof, Nikiski and Homer.
The association is asking customers still without power to report outages at 1-888-8OUTAGE. People should avoid approaching any downed power lines, which can cause serious injury or death.
The Kenai Peninsula outages have also taken several of Channel 2’s translators offline, affecting either the translators themselves or microwave locations feeding signals to them. Lance Hankins, Channel 2’s director of engineering, says HEA is working on restoring service to the translators but doesn’t have a timeline for restoration of power to specific sites.
Contact Blake Essig and Chris Klint