ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The National Weather Service issued a high-wind warning for much of south-central Alaska, warning wind gusts as high as 110 miles per hour are possible in higher elevations of Anchorage beginning Saturday night and continuing for most of Sunday.
The wind warning covered Anchorage, Eagle River and Turnagain Arm, along with western Prince William Sound and the western Kenai Peninsula. A flood watch was also in effect for areas including the western Prince William Sound and the Seward area, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Some areas could get 4 to 7 inches of rainfall, meteorologists reported, while some mountain areas could get 9 inches in just 24 hours.
The American Red Cross urged people to be have a disaster kit ready with food, water, flashlights, batteries and blankets or warm clothing, KTUU reported.
Forecasts for severe weather come as many in Anchorage are still cleaning up from a Sept. 5 storm that toppled scores of trees and left thousands without power for hours.
Officials with the Municipality of Anchorage said there’s still leftover debris scattered around town.
“If you already have debris and trees in your yard that you haven’t been able to remove yet, we would encourage you to try and get that done before the next storm hits, to avoid extra damage,” Dawn Brentley, a spokeswoman for the Anchorage Emergency Operations Center, told KTUU.
Officials said the Emergency Operations Center would be open again this weekend so crews could coordinate their response to any damage that arises.
Anchorage is no stranger to powerful winds, but meteorologists say such strong gusts are rare and especially dangerous this time of year, before the ground has frozen to hold roots in place and when trees still have plenty of leaves preventing winds from passing through bare branches.
In the earlier storm, trees broke and fell all over the city, landing on power lines, cars, yards and homes. Power outages affected thousands in Anchorage and other parts of south central Alaska.
The Alaska Fire Service said strong winds could blow smoke into Fairbanks from a fire burning on military land south of town, the Daily News-Miner reported.