Winter storm blog: ASD remains on remote learning Wednesday; Anchorage police experiencing 3-1-1 outage

Winter storm brings power outages and visibility issues to Southcentral; schools shift to remote learning
Published: Nov. 12, 2023 at 8:18 PM AKST|Updated: Nov. 15, 2023 at 7:19 PM AKST
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7:10 p.m. Wednesday

Warmer air slushed up some city roads and regional highways Wednesday. Above freezing temperatures were noted for much of Southcentral and the southern areas of the state. A large winter storm is pushing through Alaska dropping snow, some rain and kicking up winds and surf. Winter weather warnings and advisories will continue over the west coast into Thursday. The storm will bring heavy amounts of rain to Southeast Alaska the remainder of the week. The warmer air departs Thursday night. Arctic air drops south over the next two days, bringing single-digit low temperatures to Anchorage and surrounding areas by Friday night.

11 a.m. Wednesday

10AM on Wednesday, November 15, 2023: Morning folks! Not only is the weather being cantankerous, but so are our...

Posted by Anchorage Police Department on Wednesday, November 15, 2023

6 p.m. Tuesday

STORY: Bronson disgruntled by ASD decision to keep schools closed

10:40 p.m. Monday

Anchorage is approaching a halfway point to the amount of snowfall the city usually gets in an entire year, not two weeks into November. In an interview on Monday, Mayor Dave Bronson said the municipality is more prepared this year than last for snow and that they have more resources and snow removal staff.

More snow removal resources, staff, amidst record breaking month for snowfall

10 p.m. Monday

Power across the Southcentral region is steadily being restored.

After reporting more than 8,000 customers (12%) without power earlier this evening, the latest figures from Matanuska Electric Association show that number has shrunk to 4,200.

Meanwhile, the Chugach Electric Association is reporting about 190 outages in Girdwood and 40 in Cooper Landing. Power in Anchorage has been restored.

7:40 p.m. Monday

Record-breaking snow for the state’s largest city! Anchorage saw another 8.9 inches of snow as the work-week started.

Sunday night saw .20 inches and Monday’s total of 8.7 broke the daily snowfall record for this date for the city. The old record dates back to 1979 with a mere 2.7 inches. Anchorage has recorded some 38.1 inches of snow this month, a period when the average snowfall is just 12.6 inches. Monday’s daily snowfall record makes it the fourth time the city has set a new daily record in the last eight days.

A total of 38.8 inches of snow for November is the No. 1 heaviest snowfall amount for Anchorage. The record dates back to 1994, but will undoubtedly be broken this year with less than an inch of snow needed to overtake it. Another large storm is on the way, set to bring in warmer temperatures resulting in rain and snow for the Southcentral region.

7:15 p.m. Monday

Lauren Maxwell reports on how Anchorage residents were getting along with the latest round of snowfall.

“This is like concrete,” one man said as he tried to dig out his truck.

Anchorage residents are digging out after record snow

6 p.m. Monday

Power outages are sweeping across the Southcentral region, and many have been without power since early this morning.

Matanuska Electric is reporting more than 8,000 customers (12%) are waiting for power to be restored, as of 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Read more here.

5:45 p.m. Monday

The Anchorage School District announced Tuesday will be a remote learning day for students due to neighborhood road conditions. In a statement, ASD wrote that the school district met with its transportation partners prior to making the decision, citing roads that are not expected to be safe for travel.

The district said they will decide whether to host after-school activities and community rentals on Tuesday by noon.

9:20 a.m. Monday

The Anchorage School District has canceled all after-school activities and community rentals.

7 a.m. Monday

People Mover is suspending services due to the heavy snow. It is unclear when buses will resume service. AnchorRIDES service has been reduced to essential trips only.

6:20 a.m. Monday

Winter weather alerts remain in effect for much of Southcentral through noon, where up to a foot of snow is possible in some spots. Snow which could be heavy at times this morning will lead to reduced visibility. Anchorage has seen visibility hover at or below one mile through much of the night, meaning caution will be needed as drivers hit the road. Many roads continue to remain difficult from the storm last week, so treat roads as if they have a layer of ice on them. A reminder that the posted speed limit is for ideal driving conditions, of which we won’t see today.

Snow is expected to lighten up into the mid-morning and early afternoon. While the alerts expire at noon, many locations will begin to see the snow taper off by 9 to 10 a.m. This fast-moving system will still bring several inches of snowfall, with many locations seeing 5+ inches. The highest totals will fall along the Anchorage and Eagle River Hillside. This snow is also causing power outages this morning, as there are roughly 5,800 without power across Southcentral. More than 5000 of those power outages come from the valley.

Expect snow to come to an end today from west to east by mid-morning, with sunshine into the afternoon hours. Temperatures today will warm near freezing.

6:15 a.m. Monday

All Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District schools will be on a remote learning day, with the exception of Glacier View School.

11:31 p.m. Sunday

Municipal offices will be closed Monday and JBER said only mission-critical personnel are to report to work. People Mover, the city’s public transportation system, was scheduled to operate Monday, as of late Sunday night, but would announce more specifics between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. Monday.

9:31 p.m. Sunday

After a winter storm dumped over 2 feet of snow last week, follow along as another winter storm heads toward Southcentral Alaska.

8:10 p.m. Sunday

The Anchorage School District announced on Sunday evening that Monday will be a remote learning day due to the hazardous weather and road conditions in the forecast.

8:00 p.m. Sunday

Chief meteorologist Melissa Frey and meteorologist Robert Forgit take to Facebook to break down the weather forecast.

Here's the latest information on the snow coming in tonight... - This storm will come and go quickly, with snow starting...

Posted by Melissa Frey on Sunday, November 12, 2023
Major Alaska Storm Update and the Work Week Forecast with Meteorologist Robert Forgit.

Meteorologist Robert Forgit updates us on the latest storm system impacting the state and what we can expect, plus our work week forecast and the next system that is heading our way.

Posted by Alaska's News Source on Sunday, November 12, 2023

2:20 p.m. Saturday

A winter storm watch has been issued for the Anchorage area, bringing another load of precipitation to the municipality still struggling to plow itself out from underneath the last weather system earlier this week.

The winter storm watch issued Saturday warns of the possibility of 6 to 12 inches of snow for Anchorage, Eagle River, Indian and Eklutna from late Sunday night through Monday afternoon. Hillside communities could see even higher totals.

Officials anticipate slippery road conditions as snowfall accumulates, impacting the morning and evening commutes.

With heavy snow comes the risk of roof collapse and power outages as accumulated weight stresses trusses and trees. Residents should work to clear any areas of heavy snow from rooftops to prevent collapse and also check attics and basements to ensure no snow has entered their structures.

In addition to heavy snow, winds along Turnagain Arm early Monday morning could add to visibility issues along nearby roadways. Drivers are encouraged to use caution when traveling.

Crews from both the Municipality of Anchorage and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, the two entities that share responsibility for clearing roads in the Anchorage Bowl, are still working to clear roads of the snow that fell earlier this week. That snow load was so large it forced People Mover bus services to be suspended and Anchorage School District to call for a remote learning day.

Mayor Dave Bronson spoke about the city’s partnership with the state to keep DOT’s roads cleared in an interview on Saturday.

“The city is doing very well ... we’ve moved into the neighborhoods with our graters and trucks,” Bronson said. “Some of the major thoroughfares which are not city roads are still a big challenge and we’re going to have to do both.”

Mayor Bronson discusses snow removal efforts, emergency homeless shelter space between winter storms