Historic snowstorm buries Anchorage in over a foot of snow
Residents dug themselves out of their homes on Tuesday, pummeled by an overnight storm persisting through the morning and early afternoon
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Over a foot of snow blanketed Southcentral Alaska overnight and through Tuesday morning.
Anchorage hasn’t seen this much snow in one day in the month of December since 1999 — over 20 years ago. But waking up early to shovel driveways was a harsh reality for residents of the Anchorage Bowl.
Mayor Dave Bronson shared the municipality’s plan for plowing on social media.
“The Municipality of Anchorage has experienced a significant snow fall within the past 24 hours. The National Weather Service measured 9″ near the airport, and 11″ on the lower hillside as of early this afternoon. Residents are reporting larger amounts throughout town,” the post said. “Municipal crews are currently working to clear municipally owned roads. Snow operations generally start with arterials (main roads like Northern Lights, Benson, etc.), school routes, and then move into the neighborhoods. All municipally owned main roads have been plowed at least once, though additional snow accumulation is likely.
“Night shift crews will continue their operations this evening, starting with downtown clearing and snow hauling operations. Our goal is to have downtown fully cleared by Friday morning.”
In addition to 21 snow plows, nine smaller machines are dedicated to clearing sidewalks.
“We are asking residents to be patient, limit road travel and parking on streets, when possible, to give plow crews the ability to efficiently execute this large-scale plow out,” the municipality’s Street Maintenance Director Paul VanLandingham said.
City buses remain in operation, but the hazardous weather will likely interrupt service. Trash pickup will resume normal operations on Wednesday. According to VanLandingham, it may take up to two days to clear out the snow, barring further significant snowfall.
“If we get another six to eight inches tonight, we’re going to have to make some decisions and get back on our arterials,” he said.
Arterials refer to roadways crucial to maintain, and the utmost priority to clear in inclement weather. These were the daytime priority for crews on Tuesday.
Plowing crews expected to clear out downtown Anchorage by Wednesday night, and starting at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, crews will begin residential plowing.
Snow berms may be unavoidable as crews work to rapidly clear roadways.
“We are going to do our very best but there is going to be spillover from our equipment and people should expect a certain amount of residual snow,” VanLandingham affirmed. “What I am asking they to do is pitch in, and do their part, and help us out. We will get back as soon as we can to clean things up, but this is going to be a slow process. We are going to do the best job that we possibly can do for them.”
For specific plowing updates, visit the Municipality’s Street Maintenance Snow Plow Information site.
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