ADOT&PF Issues Avalanche Alert and Travel Advisory
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) announced that two small avalanches temporarily closed the Seward Highway this early afternoon and that an approaching weather system is expected to bring more precipitation and warming conditions that may further worsen avalanche risk conditions over the next few days.
An avalanche event involving two slides occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. at MP 106, in the Windy Corner area. One slide did not reach the highway, but the second crossed both lanes and caused a temporary closure while crews worked to re-open the highway. The Seward Highway was re-opened at 1:00 p.m.
An approaching storm system is expected to bring additional precipitation and warming temperatures. This, in turn, is expected to raise the avalanche risks along Turnagain Arm and the Seward Highway over the next few days. ADOT&PF will be conducting avalanche risk reduction work through the remainder of the afternoon and further as may be warranted. Travelers can expect delays of up to 45 minutes.
ADOT&PF advises drivers that the risk of avalanche is considerable in this area, further small to medium avalanches are likely, and small amounts of debris on the highway is possible. Drivers should avoid this area if possible, but if travel is necessary, please proceed directly to your destination and avoid unnecessary stoppages along the way. Further, drivers should expect difficult wintertime driving conditions, are advised to drive cautiously and at reduced speeds, and to be aware of road crews and plow trucks.
Updates on road conditions can be found at the 511.alaska.gov website or by dialing 511 on your telephone.
Posted: February 2, 2012