Avalanches close Richardson, Copper River highways

Associated PressJanuary 6, 2012 

The Alaska Department of Transportation has closed the Richardson Highway north of Valdez because of avalanches.

Spokeswoman Meadow Bailey says by e-mail the highway is closed from Mile 12 to Mile 45 due to avalanches triggered by new, heavy snow.

The department also issued a travel advisory for Richardson Highway near Ernestine at Mile 62. The department says visibility is reduced due to blowing and drifting snow and a temperature of about 32 degrees.

The department reports 16 inches of snow as of 8 a.m. at Ernestine.

The Cordova Police Department says the Copper River Highway also was closed due to avalanches.

The highway is closed past Mile 3, and police say the Transportation Department will assess the situation after daylight.

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