Fall is coming into Kodiak, and it’s riding at the head of some pretty intense wind storms. Winds rose as high as 40 mph sustained on Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Adam Przepiora, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, says that one windstorm in the southeast is passing over Kodiak now, and is expected to pass through by Wednesday
“So right now we have a low tracking West-East in the Gulf. And that’s leading to some high winds, just particularly north of Kodiak Island. But for Kodiak itself, we have strong northwesterly winds right now,” Przepiora said.
Another system could blow in from the south Wednesday night- along with an inch or more of rain. That storm will hang around till midday Friday, and then Kodiak will return to calmer conditions.
Kodiak Electric Association CEO Darren Scott says before that happens, there are risks of power failures.
“With these type of high winds, you know, outages are always possible. But we do a lot of work throughout the year to try to minimize that- we spent a lot of time and effort on the maintenance of power lines, and on tree clearing to try to minimize that. But as you can see, from these large spruces that we have here, it’s very difficult if one of those large trees comes down at a distance from the power line and comes into it. Those are always the potential during high winds and high storms,” Scott said.
Tuesday’s storm is expected to be the smaller of the two, which is remarkable considering the extreme wind speeds being reported locally. Kodiak’s wind turbines on Pillar Mountain have been clocked at between 140 and 150 mph, Scott said. The wind turbines themselves have been shut down throughout Tuesday as they can’t safely operate when winds exceed 50 mph.