Update: Power restored out the road

A state Department of Transportation plow truck clears debris near a downed power line on New Year’s Eve morning. Photo courtesy Sallie Regan.

A broken power pole at about 16 mile Glacier Highway Tuesday morning. Photo courtesy Sallie Regan.

Downed power lines block Glacier Highway at about the 16 mile marker on New Year’s Eve morning. Photo courtesy Sallie Regan.


Update Jan. 1, 2014 7 p.m.
Alaska Electric Light and Power tweeted Wednesday afternoon that all power had been restored out the road in Juneau.

 

Original post:

It’s likely to be a cold start to the New Year for Juneau residents who live out the road.

Most places north of Tee Harbor have been without electricity since Monday morning, and Alaska Electric Light and Power Spokesman Alec Mesdag says it could be another 12 to 24 hours before power is restored.

“With the heavy, wet snow, what’s happening is when the trees are coming down there’s so much weight that it’s breaking a lot of lines and it’s breaking poles,” Mesdag says. “So the repairs take a lot longer when that happens. It’s not just going in and cutting some branches out of the lines and then re-energizing.”

When a pole breaks, Mesdag says AEL&P crews have to plant a new one and string the power line to it.

He estimates a couple hundred customers could be without power into New Year’s Day.

“Right now all our crews that are available to work are out [working]. We have to, because this is going on for a while, we have to send guys home to get rest to make sure they are able to work safely,” he says. “So try to plan for being out of power. Make sure you have your outage kits prepared. Make sure you have some food and water, and the ability to stay warm.”

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for tonight and early Wednesday morning for the Juneau area. Heavy rain mixed with snow is expected overnight, with heavy rain in the forecast for New Year’s Day.