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Weather forces ferry to cancel trip to Sitka

Trees topple, power affected as gusts hit 60 mph locally

Posted: September 21, 2011 - 7:34pm  |  Updated: September 22, 2011 - 12:09am
The Coast Guard Station Juneau 44-foot Response Boat-Medium heads out of Gastineau Channel Wednesday afternoon into strong winds and white-capped waters.  Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire
The Coast Guard Station Juneau 44-foot Response Boat-Medium heads out of Gastineau Channel Wednesday afternoon into strong winds and white-capped waters.

High winds caused an Alaska Marine Highway System ferry to turn back to Juneau while en route to Sitka Wednesday, according to a release from AMHS.

The ferry Fairweather returned to Juneau at about 6 p.m. , said Mike Neussl, deputy commissioner for marine operations at the Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities. Passengers onboard the canceled run will be rebooked on later trips, he said. The Fairweather is scheduled to leave Juneau at 8:30 a.m. today and arrive in Sitka at noon, Neussl said.

Wind speeds in the capital city ranged from 40 to 50 mph, with gusts hitting the 60-mph mark, a release from the National Weather Service said. Gusts are also topped out at 60 mph in Sitka, according to the weather service’s website. A high wind advisory from the NWS was originally scheduled to run through 8 p.m. Wednesday, but was canceled at 6:14 p.m., according to a second NWS release.

Meanwhile, Alaska Electric Light & Power reported that Wednesday’s high winds caused several small outages throughout the day.

The winds caused a line to break at Riverside Drive and Long Run Drive, affecting about 40 customers, said AEL&P spokeswoman Debbie Ferreira. This area’s outage lasted between one and two hours. It was the first area to have power restored, which happened at 2 p.m.

The same thing happened to a line at Windfall Avenue, affecting 15 customers.

A tree fell into lines at Point Stephens Road, causing outages at Lena Loop and some properties farther out the road.

Damage to a west Juneau transformer also caused outages.

Ferreira said everything had been restored by 4:30 p.m. except for a few properties out the road from Lena Loop.

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