A Windy Night in Oceanview

Yesterday afternoon and evening, the weather forecast was an attention getter with forecasts of high winds in Anchorage, and up to 100mph on the upper hillside.  The high wind is not unusual, but it is unusual to see wind of that strength this time of year.  With full leaves still on the trees and unfrozen ground surrounding the root systems, the forecast was for a number of tree downings and power outages. They were right!  Trees began falling in the evening and into the night.  When I got up this morning (Wednesday, September 5th) I saw a half-dozen broken or fallen trees of considerable size in my backyard.  As I drove around our subdivision and took the photos below, I saw dozens more fallen trees.  Several trees were laying on cars or houses.  Insurance companies, tree removal companies, utility and municipal maintenance personnel and other responders will all be busy over the next few days and weeks as a result.  That goes for me too!  I’ll be setting aside a couple of hours a day for the next week or so with my chain saw in my hands.  Note: The Anchorage Woodlot located at the South Anchorage Sports Park (first right turn when preceding west from the Klatt Road and C Street roundabout) is normally open Thursday through Sunday, 9:00am-7:00pm, but due to the windstorm they will be open all seven days September 10-16, normal hours. They charge $10 per pickup load for brush and $25 each for large stumps.   Click here to go to the Anchorage Woodlot website for any additional information.

Some Oceanview homes on the north end of our subdivision experienced no power outage.  Others, like myself were out of power for 15 hours or so.  I am told that some others on the south side of the subdivision, including homes on Beach Circle are still out of power.  The tree leaning against the powerline on John’s Road shown in the photo below, may or may not have had anything to do with that.  Trees also went down on the Flying Crown Airstrip, shown in the photo below, but I could not observe any damaged aircraft from my car on the street.  The photos above and below show just a small portion of the downed trees in our subdivision, as well as one home on Johns Road.  Many trees were downed along Furrow Creek and dozens more went down in backyards, not readily visible from the street.  Bottom line,  hundreds of trees went down in our neighborhood alone.  The citywide total is in the thousands.

Friday, September 7, 2012 Update: This morning’s edition of the Anchorage Daily News had a front page article about the effects of Tuesday night’s windstorm.  The first sentence in the article referenced a family whose Oceanview home was still without power.  This caused me to drive around our subdivision at 6:00am on my way to the gym for my morning workout.  I didn’t observe any power outages within the subdivision per se, but I have to say I didn’t drive into Beach Circle.  I did see power outages affecting a number of homes in the Dailey Avenue area, east of Johns Road and Pettis Road, west of Johns Road.  This was easy to see at 6:00am when it’s still fairly dark, because it’s really dark in the areas with no power!  They’ve been out of power for almost 60 hours at this point, along with 4,000 or so other households in the Anchorage/Mat-Su areas.

Saturday, September 8, 2012 Update: Today I spoke to a number of homeowners on Clippership Drive and Clippership Court whose homes back to Furrow Creek.  Many were outside busy cutting trees.  Some had damage to their homes caused by fallen trees rooted in the creek banks.  I was told that 78 trees were downed by the winds in and adjacent to the Furrow Creek greenbelt between Mariner Drive and Clippership Court alone. That’s a section of the creek that’s only 700 feet or so in length!  They were good-sized trees too.  The State Division of Forestry was out there today as well as the result of a request from the Municipality.  They were cutting up trees that had fallen in and adjacent to the creek and had the potential to cause flooding issues.

Monday, September 10, 2012 Update:  The Anchorage Woodlot has extended the days that they are open.   Per the employee that I spoke to at the lot this morning, for this week only they will be open every day 9am-7pm Monday, September 10th  through Sunday, September 16th.

Feel free to note your personal observations or experience via the “leave a comment” tab just below.

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