By Krysti Shallenberger, Alaska’s Energy Desk
People take shelter in a lobby after an earthquake hits Anchorage on November 30, 2018. (Video still by Joey Mendolia/Alaska Public Media)
A massive earthquake Friday knocked out power to tens of thousands of people in Anchorage. The city’s two major utilities, Chugach Electric Association and Municipal Light and Power, dispatched all their crews to repair tripped transformers and other possible damage to substations and power lines.
Julie Hasquet, spokeswoman for Chugach Electric Association, was giving a tour of their company headquarters when the earthquake struck.
“It was pretty scary,” she said. “I grew up in Southern California and went through many earthquakes. I’ve lived in Alaska for 32 years and have gone through many earthquakes here, and I will say this is the longest, scariest earthquake I’ve ever been a part of.”
As of late Friday afternoon, 225 customers were without power in Chugach’s service area.
Matanuska Electric Association got hit the hardest. Half of its substations were offline after the earthquake. As of Friday evening, about 2,500 customers were still without power. Most of MEA’s customers live in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
Kierre Childers, a spokesperson for MEA, said all crews are out, but they have encountered road closures and damage from the earthquake, making it harder for them to get to the repairs. Customers should be prepared for extended outages.
Municipal Light and Power spokeswoman Julie Harris said they expect to have power restored to most of their customers by the end of today.
By late Friday afternoon, Chugach Electric is reporting that 225 customers are without power. Municipal Power and Light is reporting about 1,000 customers without power. Both utilities are still figuring out the damage. MP&L says two substations initially went down, but are back online. However, one substation is still out.