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Flying Debris Severs Power Line in Unalakleet Due to High, Gusting Winds

Aerial view of Unalakleet during winter, with open water along the coast.

Yesterday, damaging high wind in Unalakleet sent debris flying into high voltage power lines, knocking out electricity for half of the village. After roughly nine hours, electricity was restored to the south side of town, thanks to the efforts of Unalakleet Valley Electric Cooperative (UVEC) workers.

Carol Wilson, a utility clerk for UVEC, explained what specifically caused the power lines to be severed.

“A small roof blew off… the wind was gusting to 60 mph, and it flew and cut into a power line.”

– Carol Wilson

According to Wilson, a couple of primary power lines were cut as a result of the severe wind. Three local UVEC crew members and another former UVEC worker performed multiple overhead repairs in the high gusting wind.

Although power was restored, UVEC urged Unalakleet community members in a social media post to still “batten down and be careful out there.”

Events like these happen most often in the winter “maybe once or twice a year,” says Wilson.

“There were no injuries, but we’re thankful we had our three workers that were available to help.”

Permanent repairs to the power line will have to be made by a power line technician when travel allows. Additional power outages may be reported to the plant at 624-3177.

Image at top: An aerial view: no sea ice along the coast at Unalakleet. Photo: Zachariah Hughes, Alaska Public Media.

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