Scattered snow showers to continue

Kyle Hopkins

After a morning of heavy snowfall, forecasters expect scattered snow showers tonight into Saturday morning in Anchorage. Police urged caution on city roads while Chugach Electric Association reports scattered power outages in the Hillside.

The city forecast is for 5 to 10 inches of snow today, said David Stricklan, a hydrometeorological technician for the weather service in Anchorage.

Heavy snowfall was expected into the late afternoon, but by about 1:40 p.m. appeared to be tapering off, he said. "It looks like the heavy stuff has pretty much ended for the day."

The Hillside has already seen as much as 8.5 inches, he said. Customers there are reporting pockets of power outages as wet, heavy snow may have knocked over weak trees or pushed branches into power lines, said Chugach spokeswoman Patti Bogan.

The utility is calling in extra workers to help restore power and field phone calls from customers. Additional outages have been reported up and down Turnagain Arm in areas like Hope and Cooper Landing, Bogan said.

It wasn't immediately clear how many families are without power, she said. The utility is asking anyone who lost electricity to report it by calling Chugach at 762-7888.

Anchorage police report at least 68 non-injury car accidents, including cars in distress and ditches, since midnight. Another two involved injuries as of about 1:45 p.m.

Road conditions worsened throughout the morning under heavy Black Friday shopping traffic, Sgt. Michael Jensen said at noon.

Rabbit Creek was a mess, he said. "There's a steep long grade there and several vehicles are going off to the side. We're just handling them one at a time and keeping busy."

The thick snowfall helps make up for a relatively slow snow season in Anchorage.

"As of this morning, before the snow started, we were 11 inches below normal," Stricklan said.

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