Wind brings tree down on AEL&P lines

Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A large tree falling on main power lines along Channel Vista Drive near its intersection with Egan Drive knocked out power to Juneau during a storm Tuesday afternoon.

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Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

Wind gusting to 67 mph at the airport battered Juneau on Tuesday, and sodden ground resulted in a tree falling on Alaska Electric Light & Power's 67-kilovolt power lines along the Egan Drive retaining wall about 2:30 p.m., cutting power to the entire town.

"It took out both of our two transmission lines that serve all of Juneau, and we had a complete blackout," said Tim McLeod, president of AEL&P.

The power fluctuation tripped the Snettisham Power Project off line as well, though it was not damaged and was able to power downtown as soon as the break was isolated.

"We picked up all of downtown on hydro, Snettisham and Lake Dorothy, and everything north of Lemon Creek on diesel," McLeod said.

Crews working in the wind and rain were able to cut the downed tree from the Egan Drive lines, and power was restored to the Salmon Creek area, ranging from the Breakwater Inn to Western Auto, by about 4:35 p.m.

McLeod described the tree as "pretty good sized," but said it did not appear to have damaged insulators on the lines it hit. That allowed the final restoration of power to be done quickly after the tree was removed.

• Contact reporter Pat Forgey at 523-2250 or patrick.forgey@juneauempire.com.



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