Hundreds without power as winter storm drops more snow on Interior Alaska

Power Outages Alert
Updated 9:30 a.m.: Hundreds of people in the Fairbanks area were without power this morning as a winter storm that dropped a foot of snow moves out of the region.
 
As of 9:30, about 1,200 were in the dark, according to the Golden Valley Electric Association outage site. As many as 4,000 people lost power at times overnight as winds gusted to 40 mph and temperatures rose to near freezing. A couple more inches of snow could fall today as both the winds and temperatures are expected to drop during the afternoon.
 
It was snowing sideways, but it was a balmy 30 degrees Friday night in Fairbanks at press time. 
 
The winter storm could drop another 4-to-7 inches on Fairbanks by the time it subsides this afternoon, said National Weather Service Meteorologist Scott Berg, at about 10:50 p.m. Friday. 
 
Meteorologist Dan Hancock said the hills to the east likely will accumulate more snow than Fairbanks. 
 
“We anticipate the winds will be gusty through the night,” Berg said. “The bigger factor will be drifting snow. That can be kind of hazardous if you hit it the wrong way driving your car. The temperature is hovering around 30 degrees.”
 
Hancock said to expect winds between about 15 and 30 mph with gusts as high as 50 mph.
 
“More snow and even windier. We’re concerned about gusts and whatnot bringing down trees and power lines,” Hancock said of the impending storm. 
 
Berg predicted 30 degrees would be the highest temperatures climb so rain, freezing rain and sleet shouldn’t be a problem. 
 
This storm arrives in the wake of a Thursday-night snow storm that left between 10 and 12 inches of snow throughout the Fairbanks area. A squall blew through Fairbanks on Friday afternoon notching 50 mph winds at Fairbanks International Airport, Hancock said. 
 
Greg Probst, a pilot who’s lived in Fairbanks 26 years, said he went to Wasilla, on Thursday with his daughter to pick up sled dogs. As he set out to return from Talkeetna  on Friday morning, the driving conditions were “horrendous.”
 
“It was the worst driving I’ve had in Alaska in the 26 years I’ve been here,” Probst said. “Every 10 minutes I had to chip ice off the windshield and once I had to chip ice off my headlights. We made it all the way to Skinny Dick’s (Halfway Inn) and that’s when it hit. It was horrendous coming around corners, you couldn’t see a thing.”
Courtesy of newsminer.com

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