Strong winds gusting up to 80 mph Friday morning temporarily disrupted airport ferry service, and caused power outages and property damage in Ketchikan.
Federal meteorologist Greg Spann spoke to KRBD on Friday morning.
“At the airport, just a little bit ago, we had a gust of close to 60 mph and we’ve had some higher gusts in other parts of Ketchikan. Down by Salmon Landing they recently had a gust close to 80 mph, actually. So the winds are definitely howling out there.”
The National Weather Service issued a high wind warning across the southern panhandle through 1 p.m. The storm is expected to weaken as it heads north.
Powerful gusts of wind knocked out power lines across the northern part of Ketchikan around 10 a.m. Crews restored electricity to most areas less than an hour later.
Strong winds caused rough seas, and boats could be seen bobbing in the harbors for much of the morning. A wooden dock behind the Westflight Building in the Newtown area of Ketchikan was damaged.
(Video taken by Craig Deeds from the end of Millar Street of Tongass Narrows Friday morning).
Spann says another weather system is on the way.
“We have a really active pattern right now going on, system after system moving in. And so behind this storm we have a different storm, a nice big old frontal band that’s going to move through the panhandle on Saturday, and that will bring with it a chance of more strong winds, along with rain…(what) we come to expect from a winter in Southeast Alaska.”
He advised people to use caution and prepare for high winds by securing their boats and any debris that could come loose from their property.
Winds are forecast to taper off later in the afternoon. But the evening forecast calls for gusts up to 40 mph at times with temperatures hovering in the mid-30s.