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Downed power line turns out the lights on residents out the road

Posted: September 1, 2013 - 5:18pm

About 350 residents who live past the Frank Palmer Auke Bay Ferry Terminal were affected by a Sunday morning power outage.

At about 6:45 a.m., a downed line on Glacier Highway near the Shrine of St. Therese put out power for residents from the terminal to Cohen Drive for about two hours, Alaska Electric Light & Power Company spokeswoman Debbie Driscoll said. For people living past Cohen Drive, power was out for almost five hours while crews worked to restore it, she said.

When crews responded to a report of an outage, they found a power line on the ground, Driscoll said. The line was dislocated for a span of about six poles, but was only touching the ground between two poles.

“Something, most likely a tree, knocked down the wire from the pole,” Driscoll said.

An AEL&P engineer made sure the fallen line wasn’t severed, and directed traffic around it, Driscoll said. Then, crews came to hoist the line up. That far out the road, the power lines are on the east side of the road on a high bank.

“It was actually a little bit taller than what our bucket truck could reach,” Driscoll said. “We had some additional crew come out and it was just a matter of putting the line back on the poles.”

AEL&P was able to isolate the problem fairly quickly and restore power to customers up to Cohen Drive within a couple hours, she said. However, for safety reasons, power had to stay off for customers past Cohen Drive until the work was finished.

“Because there’s a feeder, we could isolate it, and keep the power off while our crews worked on it,” Driscoll said. “Any time we can do that we isolate the problem area so we can restore power to as many as possible that were affected.”

All power was restored by about noon.

• Contact reporter Katie Moritz at 523-2294 or at

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