Anchorage bundles up ahead of late season winter storm

Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 9:50 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -Some people stayed inside Thursday, but by sunset, it was expected to be a full house again at the emergency homeless shelter at Sullivan Arena.

“We’ve been able to accommodate everyone seeking shelter,” said Lisa Sauder, executive director of Bean’s Cafe, which operates the shelter. “They may not be able to get a 24-hour cot, but they won’t be turned away.”

Capacity at the arena is 400 people. Another 50 people can stay in the two warming tents set up next to the building. Sauder says it’s been this way since the emergency shelter opened a year ago.

Meanwhile, it was another regular night at the Brother Francis Shelter. Catholic Social Services operates the center that was also expected to be packed with those looking to get out of the cold.

Traffic moved over Anchorage roads. They have not gone unnoticed ahead of the winter storm.

“We’ll be watching those areas and handle them accordingly,” said Paul Vanlandingham, manager of the city’s Maintenance and Operations Department.

His crews spent part of the day preparing busy roads and intersections. They will do more than clear away any drifting snow.

“We’ve got guys getting chain saws and things ready, brushing crews getting ready to address those if we get any trees blowing down,” Vanlandingham said.

Detours remain in place at two areas of the Seward Highway between Anchorage and Girdwood. The Department of Transportation and Public Facilities set them up because of the threat of rocks that could fall. A department spokesperson said strong winds are known to cause that type of danger.

Falling rocks are not the only threats posed by the heavy winds through this area over the next couple of days. The Department of Transportation warns they could also trigger avalanches.

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