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In his four decades living on South Birchwood Loop Road, Manuel Belmudes has never seen anything like the destruction caused by a windstorm that ripped through Southcentral Alaska on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Dozens of large, uprooted trees covered Belmudes’ property. Trees still rooted in the ground supported fallen ones. Debris engulfed a truck, making moving it impossible.

The roof of his greenhouse was torn off.

An Eagle River woman and her four children escaped injury after the family's two-story log home caught fire around Noon on Monday, Sept. 10 on Mile Hi Way.

Dana Ouellette said she thinks the fire started in a wood stove upstairs. Ouellette said she started a fire in the stove, then went downstairs. Later, she heard a crackling coming from the roof of the home. When she went upstairs to investigate, she saw smoke and flames coming from the roof and immediately gathered up her children — ages 10, 5, 3 and 1 — and left the house.

Duke University sophomore Kelly Cobb, a 2011 Chugiak High graduate, helped the United States to a 1-0 win over Germany in the finals of the FIFA Under-20 Women’s Soccer World Cup on Saturday, Sept. 8 in Tokyo.

Kealia Ohai scored in the 44th minute for the only goal of the championship match.

Cobb will now return to a Blue Devils team that was 5-1 through Sept. 9. Cobb led Duke in scoring as a freshman last season, helping the Blue Devils to a runner-up finish in the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer national tournament.

Service football remained undefeated in Cook Inlet Conference play with a 43-12 win over Chugiak on Saturday, Sept. 8 at Anchorage Football Stadium.

With the loss, Chugiak fell to 0-4 in the conference and 0-5 overall.

After Dane Prince scored on a 12-yard touchdown run to put Chugiak up 9-7, Service’s Kylelle Brown picked off Isaac Temple and scored on a 21-yard interception return to put the Cougars up 15-9 with 2:17 to play in the first half.

A Chase Wilson 30-yard field goal — his second of the half — cut the lead to 15-12 with under a minute to go.


Eagle River football racked up 26 first-half points to defeat visiting West Valley 26-17 at its homecoming game Saturday, Sept. 8. Excluding last year’s win over Chugiak — a game the Mustangs won but had to forfeit due to use of an ineligible player — Saturday marked Eagle River’s first victory since beating Lathrop in 2010 at the first game played on the Wolves’ own turf.

“I’m extremely happy for these seniors,” Eagle River head coach Jason Brewer said. “They deserve it.”

By Saturday, Matanuska Electric Association said it had restored power to nearly all of its members who experienced outages due to Tuesday's windstorm. 

At the height of the outage, 16,450 MEA members were without power, the utility said. Five substations went down and 23 feeder lines were damaged in the storm, MEA said. 

Eagle River, Chugiak, Birchwood and Peters Creek were the hardest hit areas and had the most outages in MEA's service area, the utility said. 

MEA said it had crews working 24 hours a day to clear thousands of trees and restore power. 

As of 1 p.m. on Thursday, fewer than 800 Mantanuska Electric Association customers were without power after a windstorm ripped through Southcentral Alaska on Tuesday night. 

The largest portion of people without power live in Chugiak and Birchwood, according to MEA. 

Residents in the Mat-Su Valley are also without power, the utility said. 

Currently, MEA has nine crews working to restore power. 

Check for updates. 

More than 16,000 Matanuska Electric Association members were without power after a windstorm ripped through Southcentral Alaska on Tuesday night.

“The bulk of them are in Eagle River, and that includes Chugiak and Peters Creek,” MEA spokesman Kevin Brown said.

MEA said 16,450 customers lost power at the height of the outage. Five substations went down and 23 feeder lines were damaged, the utility said. 

Police arrested Hans Ihde, 18, of Eagle River after he allegedly set fire to St. John Orthodox Cathedral on Thursday, Aug. 23. Ihde was charged with second-degree arson, second-degree burglary and third-degree theft.

Ihde was a 13-year congregation member of St. John Orthodox, according to Father Marc Dunaway. Father Dunaway said he’d seen a change for the worse in Ihde in recent months, and speculated that the 18-year-old had been taking drugs.

“It just made him into a different person,” Dunaway said.

The arson was captured on video, Dunaway said.

Eagle River football fell to 0-4 after defending Large Schools state champion Service blanked the Wolves 32-0 on Saturday, Sept. 1 at Chugiak's Tom Huffer Sr. Stadium. 

Eagle River made too many mistakes, head coach Jason Brewer said. But, he said, that's what happens when five starters are only sophomores. 

"We're young," Brewer said. "We've got some growing pains." 

The Wolves battled all four quarters, Brewer said. 

"We outhit them. We had more intensity than them," he said.