Trees with heavy snow loads cause widespread outages to GVEA members in Interior Alaska

Heavy snow loads cause widespread power outages around the interior today.
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 5:24 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Approximately 7,500 GVEA members were without power today, Thursday, Dec. 15. A majority of the outages were in the Badger Road, Two Rivers and Salcha areas.

Trees with heavy snow loads leaning over lines has been the cause of the power loss. Falling snow and lack of wind has “caused more trees outside of the right-of-way to bend and lean onto power lines,” said Meadow Bailey, Director of External Affairs and Public Relations.

Over the course of the day, crews have been able to restore power to most of the affected areas, leaving approximately 600 members still without power as of 5 p.m.

GVEA’s outage map is updated in real time. Bailey says their meters send them signals once power is lost in an area.

It can vary how long power could be out for certain areas.

“We have called in GVEA line crews. We also have contractor line crews that are in, and we also have our right of way crews and our right of way crews are primarily focused on clearing out as many of these trees as they can,” said Bailey.

“It is really important in Alaska to be prepared. We have brought in every resource we have available and crews will continue to work around the clock until power is restored to everybody. We do have to respond to every outage. Each one of those will require crews to respond to, so it might take some time, but we are coming to every outage and we will restore power as quickly and safely as we can.”

She says making sure the public is prepared for outages is important especially with temperatures expected to drop around 20 below this evening. Supplies such as water, medications, flashlights and winter gear should be accessible just in case of an emergency.

For more information on the current outages visit the GVEA outage map.