Power restored throughout Juneau, but AEL&P says be prepared for more possible outages

A crew from Alaska Electric Light & Power work on a downed power line on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska. Power was out for much of Juneau as morning broke and a storm that had been forecasted to bring rain, instead brought a blizzard. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

Juneau residents from Thane to the end of the road woke up with no electricity Monday morning. Some outages persisted into the afternoon.

Alaska Electric Light & Power spokesperson Deb Driscoll said the outages began Sunday afternoon when trees weighed down by snow and ice started falling on power lines.

That happened repeatedly in multiple locations overnight and this morning.

“We had multiple trees coming down in multiple locations,” Driscoll said. “So the crew has been working nonstop.”

A fallen tree blocks the road at the intersection of Dixon Street and Calhoun Avenue in downtown on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

Driscoll says she can’t recall a similar event causing this many outages in more than a decade. Slick conditions on the roads didn’t help.

An areawide outage occurred at 5 a.m. when trees fell on a main transmission line along Thane Road. Power was restored for most areas of town at about 9:30 a.m.

As of Monday afternoon, crews were still working to restore power to Tee Harbor and areas further north due to a separate issue that was resolved by about 3 p.m.

Driscoll said the weather forecast remains unpredictable. More outages may occur.

“We want customers to be prepared for the possibility of additional outages, for sure,” Driscoll said. “I think what happens is, certainly if it warms up, then you get even heavier snow on trees and then that can cause additional problems if it ices up that can cause problems with the line.”

People should prepare by keeping their phones fully charged. If they have alternate heat sources like wood stoves, they should be prepared to use them.

She says people can also gather snow and place it in buckets in their fridge or freezer to help keep food cold if necessary.

Anyone with information about downed power lines and other damage should call AEL&P. Otherwise, customers can check Facebook, Twitter and the AEL&P website for updates.