Avalanches Are A Pain

Avalanche AreaAccording to the local paper, our power rates are likely to quintuple next month as a result of the avalanche that knocked out Juneau’s supply of hydro power. The whole city is currently running off of diesel generators and will most likely continue to run off of them for the next 3 to 4 months. 

The transmission line to Juneau from the Snettisham Power House, about 40 miles south of town, went down at 3:54 a.m., Wood said. The avalanche started three miles from the power house. It was 1.5 miles across.

Utility Diesel GeneratorsA helicopter was used by Alaska Electric Light and Power Co (AEL&P) to assess the damage. One of the transmission towers was down completely and four others were damaged. The bad weather at the time prevented AEL&P from making a complete assessment of the damage. To add insult to injury, shortly after the the helicopter left another avalanche took out additional towers.

It’s just a terrible place to have a transmission line,” AEL&P General Manager Tim McLeod said. “Those are straight-up-and-down cliffs.