Two electrical poles in a forest clearing. One is crooked and its wires are pulled taught towards the ground.
One of two power poles on Mitkof Island that sustained damage from the storm on April 9th. Photo courtesy of Karl Hagerman.

A windstorm tore through the Petersburg Borough on Easter Sunday. In the northern part of Mitkof Island, the National Weather Service recorded winds nearing 30 miles per hour at about 1 p.m. that day. However, the organization did not have data for the south end of the island, which experienced the most municipal damage. The storm blew trees onto Mitkof Highway and snapped two power poles near the Crystal Lake Hydroelectric Plant.

Karl Hagerman is the utilities director for the Petersburg Borough. He says residents living out the road saw the worst damage. He says that nearly all customers from Scow Bay to the Crystal Lake Hatchery felt the outage. That’s between three and 18 miles south of town.

“It was a short and intense windstorm, that’s for sure,” said Hagerman. “And so about one o’clock in the afternoon on Easter Sunday, we got notice that there was an outage on the circuit that extends from the Scow Bay substation to the south end of our system.”

Hagerman says that a tree came down around mile eight on Mitkof Highway, which destroyed two electrical cross arms.

“Unfortunately, the poles were far enough away from the road surface that we couldn’t use our bucket trucks to fix those items,” said Hagerman. “So the linemen had to climb many poles to put new cross arms up. It took about five and a half hours for all that work to be done.”

Two linemen work on top of a damaged power, while a third employee observes them from the ground. They are surrounded by trees.
Petersburg Municipal Power and Light employees work to repair an electrical cross arm that was damaged in the storm on April 9th. Photo courtesy of Karl Hagerman.

By the end of the day, some customers on the fringes of the Borough — including the Crystal Lake Hatchery — were still without power. Hagerman says the Petersburg Municipal Power and Light Department worked through the next day to repair the lines. 

“It was a busy couple days for the crew, but I’m happy to say they did a fantastic job,” said Hagerman. “Everybody made it through relatively unscathed as far as, you know, losing power on Easter. But we really appreciate the patience of our customers. We all have stories of losing power on holidays and, you know, it happens. But we were there and got everything set right.”

As of Tuesday, April 11th, power was restored to all Petersburg Municipal Power & Light customers.