High winds cause damage, closures across Juneau

Crews attempt to turn over a trailer that was flipped over by wind at the subport lot downtown on Jan. 16, 2020. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

High winds caused moderate damage and closures throughout the City and Borough of Juneau Thursday. 

The National Weather Service in Juneau extended the high wind warning until 5 a.m. on Friday. The agency reported gusts of more than 100 mph Thursday morning in downtown.  

The wind caused multiple flight cancellations. Alaska Airlines spokesperson Tim Thompson said nine flights had been canceled in and out of Juneau as of 12:30 p.m. 

“We’re waiting to see if the weather is actually going to shift for the afternoon and evening flights,” Thompson said. “No decision has been made on those at this point.”

The cancellations affected passengers with connections in other parts of the state as well. 

Eaglecrest Ski Area announced it closed for the day due to the wind. It planned to reopen on Friday. 

Despite reports of downed trees and blowing debris on social media, Capital City Fire/Rescue Chief Rich Etheridge said there haven’t been many calls for wind-related issues.

“Our other big call for this time of year is frostbite and cold injuries with people that are outdoors either recreating or homeless that don’t have shelter from the wind,” Etheridge said. “High winds can cause cold injuries pretty quickly.”

The city’s Visitor Industry Task Force public testimony scheduled for Thursday evening was also canceled. The task force will decide when to reschedule the testimony when it meets next on Jan. 21.

AEL&P reported a brief power outage before 11 a.m. Spokesperson Deb Driscoll said they were not sure what caused the unit to trip off, but multiple customers throughout the borough were affected before power was restored.

She said wind could cause more outages throughout the day.

This story has been updated.

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