Fierce winds close Alaska oil pipeline port

AP News
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Posted: Feb 27, 2011 7:08 PM
Fierce winds close Alaska oil pipeline port

Hurricane-force winds have forced a shutdown of the port where Alaska oil is loaded onto tankers.

The National Weather Service says there are multiple reports of flying debris shattering windows and siding blowing off buildings in Valdez, where the port is located.

The winds peaked at 95 mph Saturday, prompting the port closure. The Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. terminal remains open, and an Alyeska official says oil flowing from the trans-Alaska oil pipeline is being put into storage tanks.

The winds settled Sunday to about 10 mph, with a 65 mph gust blasting through the town. Winds are expected to flare up again, with gusts in the 80 mph range.

Peggy Perales with the weather service says vessels are waiting out the weather in a safe harbor.