Live updates as winter storm hits Southcentral Alaska

Most Mat-Su schools to have remote learning day Wednesday
Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 4:16 PM AKST|Updated: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:23 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Recent winter storms continue to cause problems on the roads and for Southcentral Alaska school systems.

5:06 a.m. Wednesday - Most Mat-Su schools to have remote learning day

Most Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District schools will have a remote learning day on Wednesday, the school system announced.

The schools that will be open for in-person learning are:

  • Glacier View School
  • Willow Elementary
  • Trapper Creek Elementary
  • Talkeetna Elementary
  • Susitna Valley Jr/Sr High School

5:25 a.m. Tuesday - Central Peninsula schools on 2-hour delay

Central Kenai Peninsula schools will be on a two-hour delay this morning to allow plowing crews more time to clear side roads.

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District officials said the following schools will operate on a two-hour delay Tuesday morning.:

  • Aurora Borealis
  • K-Beach Elementary
  • Kaleidoscope Elementary/Kenai Alternative High School
  • Kenai Central High School
  • Kenai Middle School
  • Mountain View Elementary
  • Nikiski Middle/High School
  • Nikiski North Star Elementary
  • Redoubt Elementary
  • River City Academy
  • Skyview Middle School
  • Soldotna Elementary
  • Soldotna High School
  • Soldotna Montessori
  • Sterling Elementary
  • Tustumena Elementary

The borough said if parents decide to keep their kids home for the day, please call their school to report their excused absence.

5:15 a.m. Tuesday - People Mover resuming service

Municipal bus service is resuming today after People Mover announced that it will be deploying buses back on Anchorage roads. The company said in an online alert that customer service will open at 8:30 a.m., and asked the public to expect delays and detours as buses make their way through snowy roads.

5:45 p.m. Monday - Heaviest snow to hit Anchorage over 8-day stretch in decades

Anchorage has seen 29.6″ of snow in the past eight days. The last time the city saw that much snow in just over a week was in February of 1996 when 44.3 inches fell in the same time period.

1:55 p.m. Monday - People Mover cancels bus routes for rest of day

People Mover has canceled its service for the rest of Monday, according to an online alert. People Mover said a decision on the resumption of busing services will be made Tuesday at 5 a.m.

People Mover had announced earlier in the day that it was temporarily suspending routes for Monday.

1:30 p.m. Monday - Mayor speaks on municipal snowplowing operations

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson hosted a virtual press conference Monday afternoon addressing snow plowing operations within the Municipality of Anchorage.

“This is kind of an epic snowfall,” Bronson said, pointing out the amount of snow the city has received between two winter storms — last week’s snowfall that dumped over a foot in most areas of Anchorage, and the snowfall that hit the Anchorage Bowl overnight into Monday. The current snowstorm, spanning Sunday night into Monday, has delivered 16.2 inches of snow officialy.

Bronson said that municipal plowing crews started clearing city roads Sunday night and are tackling the job of plowing in order of priority, starting with the arterial roadways such as the Glenn Highway and Minnesota Drive, and moving to the “collector” roads, before finishing with the residential streets.

“We expect graders to start plowing residential streets (Tuesday) morning,” Bronson said.

Members of the mayor’s administration addressed the issue of streets being plowed in a timely manner, explaining that a limited number of plows and graders can only do so much against back-to-back record-breaking snowstorms.

Bronson also warned residents against moving snow into the path of graders and plowing crews, adding that citations will be issued for those that block roads and right-of-ways. Members of the mayor’s administration could not provide a clear answer on what those penalties would be when asked.

“It is illegal to plow your snow or move snow into the right-of-way,” Bronson said. “We’re seeing a lot of that, that’s got to stop.”

Anchorage snow plowing

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson is holding a press conference about the snow plowing progress in Anchorage.

Posted by Alaska's News Source on Monday, December 12, 2022

11:31 a.m. Monday - ASD, Mat-SU cancel after-school activities; ASD addresses plans

The Anchorage School District announced Monday morning that all after-school activities have been canceled and rental facilities will be closed for community rental groups/activities.

Schools are expected to reopen tomorrow.

“Please know that getting our students and our staff safely back to school is our highest priority right now. With more snow in the forecast, we have multiple teams researching all options, including remote learning, for how we will address future weather closures, current missed days, and how it will impact the remainder of the 2022-2023 school calendar,” the school system wrote in the Monday morning update.

The school system said it will have a plan in place soon.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District also announced Monday morning that all after-school activities have been canceled.

11:20 a.m. Monday - Kenai pedestrian dies in collision with plow truck amid whiteout conditions

A woman is dead after being hit by a pickup truck with a plow Sunday night, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Troopers reported that 31-year-old Stephanie Anderson of Kenai was walking “in the roadway wearing dark clothing” near Kalifornsky Beach Road and Pirate Lane shortly before 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Troopers said the truck, which was equipped with a plow, hit Anderson and the driver got out to help her before members of the Kenai Police Department, Kenai Fire Department and troopers responded.

Anderson was ultimately declared dead at the scene, which was described by troopers as experiencing whiteout conditions with approximately 18 inches of snow on the roadway.

An investigation is ongoing.

9:15 a.m. Monday - Anchorage buses suspend service for now

People Mover announced that bus service has temporarily been suspended due to road conditions. The bus company said in an alert that service will resume after evaluating conditions on the roads. People Mover said to check its website and social media pages.

8:00 a.m. Monday - Snowiest year to date for Anchorage since 2011

Like the song that never ends, snow in Southcentral Alaska continues to dump on the region. As of 6 a.m. Monday morning, the National Weather Service has officially reported 15.5 inches of snow in Anchorage.

As this system winds down, it will once again take some time to dig out across Southcentral. Reports keep coming in and many areas have seen anywhere from 5 to 20 inches of snow. The snow that has fallen overnight into Monday has bumped our year-to-date total up to 43 inches. It’s now the most snow Anchorage has seen this early in the year since 2011.

Budget extra time into your day to get where you are going. Residents are discouraged to get out on the roads unless they absolutely must. Should you venture out later today, roads will be difficult to navigate. Stay safe and use caution throughout the day. Much like last week, it could take several days to see any significant improvement on some roads.

Snowfall totals in Anchorage.
Snowfall totals in Anchorage.(Aaron Morrison/Alaska's News Source)

More snow is in the forecast through the week, with the next round arriving Tuesday. Right now it’s possible that 1 to 3 inches of snow will fall across Southcentral.

5:10 a.m. Monday - Anchorage schools canceled

The Anchorage School District has canceled class for the day due to the snowfall amounts and road conditions. The district said in a message to parents that a decision on all after-school activities will be made by 12 p.m. Monday.

Lumen Christi High School and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School have also closed for the day.

9:15 p.m. Sunday - Most Kenai Peninsula schools closed Monday

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District says a majority of their schools will be closed on Monday due to winter conditions. Others will be on a two-hour delay and five schools will be open. The school district also said that if parents or guardians decide to keep students home due to poor weather conditions in their area, to call the child’s school. The absence will be excused.

The following schools are closed:

  • Aurora Borealis School
  • Chapman School
  • Connections
  • Fireweed Academy
  • Homer Flex High School
  • Homer High School
  • Homer Middle School
  • Kaleidoscope ES
  • Kalifornsky Beach ES
  • Kenai Alternative School
  • Kenai Central High School
  • Kenai Middle School
  • McNeil Canyon Elementary
  • Moose Pass School
  • Mountainview ES
  • Nikolaevsk School
  • Nikiski Middle/Senior High School
  • Nikiski North Star ES
  • Ninilchik School
  • Paul Banks Elementary
  • Redoubt Elementary School
  • River City Academy
  • Seward Elementary School
  • Seward High School
  • Seward Middle School
  • Skyview Middle School
  • Soldotna Elementary School
  • Soldotna High School
  • Soldotna Montessori School
  • Sterling ES
  • Tustamena ES
  • West Homer Elementary School

The following schools will be on a two-hour delay:

  • Kachemak Selo School
  • Razdolna
  • Tebughna School
  • Voznesenka School

The schools that will be open are:

  • Cooper Landing School
  • Hope School
  • Nanwalek School
  • Port Graham School
  • Susan B English School

7:30 p.m. Sunday - Winter storm sets precipitation record for Anchorage

As of 7 p.m., the liquid water equivalent of Sunday’s snowfall measured 0.58 inches at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. This amount sets a new daily precipitation record for December 11, so far. The most recent snowfall measurement was 4.0 inches taken at the National Weather Service office next to the airport at 6:30 p.m. With snow continuing to fall around one inch per hour, Sunday’s snowfall total is well on it’s way to breaking the daily record of 6.0 inches set in 2007.

0.58" (so far)  sets a new daily liquid precipitation record for Anchorage.
0.58" (so far) sets a new daily liquid precipitation record for Anchorage.(Alaska's Weather Source)

6:20 p.m. Sunday - Snowfall increasing across Anchorage

Snowfall rates are intensifying across Anchorage. Between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, nearly a third of an inch of liquid precipitation fell at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, adding up to roughly three inches of snow. Heavy snow will likely continue into the overnight hours, making travel difficult during the morning commute.

Winter Storm Warnings are in effect as heavy snow moves north across Southcentral. We'll continue to see accumulating snow and poor visibility for much of the region through early Monday. Let me know what the conditions are like where you are!

Posted by Melissa Frey on Sunday, December 11, 2022

5:55 p.m. Sunday - Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District closed Monday

Schools in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District will be closed on Monday, and students will be having a virtual learning day.

The MSBSD announced on their website and on their social media channels that schools will be closed on Monday.

“All schools will have remote learning day Monday, December 12th due to the winter storm that has brought poor visibility, snow drifts and is forecasted to bring widespread heavy snowfall throughout the evening and early morning creating hazardous road conditions,” the announcement read.

The district will provide at 11 a.m. to inform whether or not afterschool activities will be held.

11:05 a.m. Sunday - Snow moves into Kenai

Snow started falling along the western Kenai Peninsula late Saturday and early Sunday, and has now spread into the Anchorage Bowl as of mid-Sunday morning.

Snowfall rates will continue to increase heading into the afternoon. Current forecast remains on track for the heaviest snow to fall in the Anchorage area later this evening right through the early morning hours on Monday. The heaviest snow will occur a few hours earlier for the western Kenai Peninsula and western Prince William Sound, and a few hours later for the Copper River Basin. Winter storm warnings remain in effect for all of these locations through early Monday afternoon at the latest.

Snowfall totals range from 8 to 24 inches across the entire region, the heaviest amounts into the higher elevations including the Anchorage Hillside. Travel will become extremely difficult — if not dangerous. If you absolutely must travel, have a winter supply kit in your vehicle and travel with extreme caution. To stay up-to-date with the latest information on this storm, on air, online and on demand. Stay safe!

What to expect from the latest storm to hit Southcentral Alaska this week
What to expect from the latest storm to hit Southcentral Alaska this week(KTUU)

8:35 p.m. Saturday - Winter Storm Warnings issues for much of Southcentral

The National Weather Service in Anchorage has upgraded the Municipality of Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, and the Copper River Basin to a Winter Storm WARNING until 4 p.m. Monday, December 12. This means that all of Southcentral, with the exception of Thompson Pass/Valdez and Cordova are under the warning for heavy snowfall, low visibilities, and extremely difficult travel conditions.

All of Southcentral (except Valdez & Cordova) under Winter Storm Warnings for heavy snowfall &...
All of Southcentral (except Valdez & Cordova) under Winter Storm Warnings for heavy snowfall & difficult travel Sunday and Monday.(Alaska's Weather Source)

7:10 p.m. Saturday - Be prepared for heavy snow starting late Sunday

Meteorologist Joe Bartosik provides an evening update on the timing of the snow’s arrival across Southcentral, when the heaviest snow falls, and then when it comes to an end. Forecast snow totals by storm’s end late Monday night continue to range from 8 to 24 inches across the region. Plan for very difficult travel conditions ALL ACROSS Southcentral Sunday afternoon right through early Tuesday.

Sat 12-10-22 Eve Update Heavy Snow SC

3:01 p.m. Saturday Winter Storm Warnings issued for Kenai Peninsula, Western Prince William Sound

The National Weather Service in Anchorage upgraded the Kenai Peninsula and western Prince William Sound to a Winter Storm Warning. A Winter Storm Watch continues for Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley, and the Copper River Basin. Alaska’s Weather Source meteorologist Joe Bartosik has the latest update on the storm expected to arrive on Sunday.

LIVE: Meteorologist Joe Bartosik has the latest on the next storm to hit Southcentral Alaska