Heavy, wet snow in parts of Anchorage and the Eagle River is causing blackouts, slippery roads and school closures

Through Daily News from Anchorage

Updated: 1 hour ago Posted: 6 hours ago

Snow in the Anchorage area on Friday forced schools to close, made roads slippery and caused power outages.

On Friday morning, unofficial snow totals included 13 inches on the Upper Hillside and about 4 inches at Eagle River, while much of the west side of Anchorage saw next to nothing, National meteorologist Alan Shriver said. Weather Service in Anchorage.

Snow continued to the east side on Friday morning, Shriver said, and is expected to continue to mix with rain throughout the day before easing at 8 p.m.

Power outages across the city were caused by heavy, wet snow falling early in the season as many trees still have leaves – heavy branches fell on the lines, said Julie Hasquet, spokesperson. of the Chugach Electric Association. The crews were working to restore power on Friday morning.

“This is one of those very dynamic situations, and we are just urging people to be patient as we reclaim power,” Hasquet said.

The Anchorage School District closed all schools on Friday due to poor roads.

“A decision to cancel extracurricular activities will be made no later than 12 noon,” the district added in an early morning tweet.

Lumen Christi High School also announced its closure on Friday, and the University of Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Pacific University canceled in-person classes.

Snow started to fall around 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Meteorologist Adam Przepiora said the storm system was moving in the Anchorage area from east to west.

The Anchorage Bowl is expected to see significantly less snow than the Hillside, according to the National Weather Service. Little or no build-up is expected in West Anchorage.

Road temperatures are still warm, but Przepiora said wet snow can still accumulate, causing slippery conditions. Driving conditions along the Glenn Highway and in East Anchorage can be more dangerous during the morning commute, Przepiora said.

“It’s early, so a lot of people don’t have snow tires yet,” he said, and urged caution on the roads.

Citing snow in the forecast, the Municipality of Anchorage announced this week that residents can drive with studded tires eight days earlier this year, starting Thursday.

Snow is expected to subside after Friday afternoon, and Przeporia said high temperatures on Friday are expected to reach 30 degrees or close to 40 degrees. Temperatures on the hill and at higher elevations are expected to be lower, and Przeporia said snow could remain.

The earliest date with at least an inch of snow recorded at the weather services office near Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in West Anchorage was September 24, 1981, Przeporia said.

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