February 14, 2013 | Volume 43, No. 6

Weekend's winds exceeded 56 mph

High winds blasted through Haines last weekend, but Alaska Power and Telephone “squeaked by” without incident, power manager Danny Gonce said.  

An AP&T-maintained anemometer atop a tower on FAA Road clocked peak wind speeds at 56.7 mph Sunday and 51 mph Saturday. Despite the high winds, AP&T received no phone or power outage calls, Gonce said.

Though AP&T received no phone calls, the winds did manage to unhinge the Babbling Book’s hanging sign Sunday morning. Owner Tom Heywood was perplexed when a friend called to report the detached sign, as it is fastened with secure, sturdy metal clips.

“I thought something had broken, but the wind had just somehow jockeyed it out of there... It was banging against the window, which could have been bad,” Heywood said.

The high speeds were not sustained throughout the day, which could account for the lack of damage, Gonce said.

“There were some pretty high peaks, but the averages during those days was around 14 mph,” Gonce said.

For example, Saturday started out fairly calm at around 7-9 mph and ramped up to 40 mph at 10 a.m. before dropping back down. Saturday’s 51 mph peak occurred around 10 p.m., Gonce said.

The highest wind speed registered in recent weeks was 59.6 mph on Jan. 29.

A January 2011 wind storm registering at 61 mph damaged buildings, felled trees and canceled ferries, while high winds in December 2011 downed 14 sections of power lines and blew out the Pioneer Bar sign.