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Anchorage copes with another big snowfall

Dale Fine shovels the sidewalk around his apartment in Mountain View during a snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Bartender Carolyn Joy shovels out the front of Gwennie's Old Alaska Restaurant as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage, AK area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Snow drifts around trees and blows from Chugach Mountain ridges in this view from near the Glen Alps Trailhead late Monday, January 9, 2011.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Dale Fine shovels the sidewalk around his apartment in Mountain View during a snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Dave Bronson sweeps snow of the wing of a friends plane on Lake Hood as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage, AK area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Traffic moves slowly on Hillside Drive Tuesday afternoon, January 10, 2011, as strong wind and blowing snow create low visibility.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Mountain View during the snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Layers of snow are evident on in snow atop a motor home in west Anchorage as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station as of Tuesday. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
A pedestrian walks down a snow covered street in Mountain View during the snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Onofre Jimenez shovels a friend's driveway in Mt. View duringThursday's (January 12, 2012) snowstorm.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Mountain View during the snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
14-year-old Doug Hamrick shovels snow off of his family's roof Thursday, Jan.12, 2012, in Anchorage. The National Weather Service is predicting a total snowfall of 8 to 16 inches today, putting Anchorage on track to have the snowiest winter on record.
Loren Holmes / AP2012
Mountain View during the snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
An Alaska Railroad plow clears the tracks along the Seward Highway next to Turnagain Arm near Bird on Wednesday, January 11,
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Onofre Jimenez shovels a friend's driveway in Mountain View during the snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Another significant snow storm is reducing visibility for drivers in Anchorage on Thursday morning, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Mountain View during the snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Clouds hang low over the Kenai Mountains across from the Seward Highway next to Turnagain Arm on Wednesday, January 11,
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Paul Bergeron clears some snow off a roof while doing a siding job in Mountain View on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
An accident on 5th Avenue near the Captain Cook hotel resulted in a snowmachine landing on the sidewalk of the hotel. A pickup truck carrying the snowmachine was involved in the crash with a car early afternoon, Thursday, January 12, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Traffic moves down Minnesota Drive as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage, AK area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station as of Tuesday. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Traffic moves along the the Seward Highway next to Turnagain Arm after the an avalanche was cleared from the road just after noon on Wednesday, January 11,
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Steve Vogel blows snow off the roof of The Odom Corporation Coca Cola Alaska headquarters building near Ship Creek on Friday, January 13, 2012. This is the second time this year that the roof has been cleared of snow.
Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News
Snow plows drive drive down L Street as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage, AK area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station as of Tuesday. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Wind howling in the Bear Valley area left a vehicle stuck on Clark's Road near Rabbit Creek Road on Tuesday afternoon, January 10, 2012.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Wind drifted snow forms along side the road to the small boat launch in Anchorage on Friday, January 13, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Don Guthrie, Frampton and Opinsky, blows snow off the sidewalks in front of 420 L Street as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage, AK area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station as of Tuesday. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Wind-deposited snow rises to almost four feet against an Anchorage Hillside garage door on Tuesday afternoon, January 10, 2012.
Richard J. Murphy
Wind drifted snow forms along side the road to the small boat launch in Anchorage on Friday, January 13, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Don Guthrie, Frampton and Opinsky, blows snow off the sidewalks in front of 420 L Street as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage, AK area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station as of Tuesday. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
In the lee of winds gusting to over 80 mph, ice builds up on an Anchorage HIllside doorway Tuesday afternoon, January 12, 2012.
Richard J. Murphy
Snow drapes the broad shoulders of Atlas on the roof of the Anchorage Fur Factory in Downtown Anchorage on Friday, January 13, 2012.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Ron Kahl, of Straightline Pavement Maintenance, shovel the sidewalk in front of The 5th Avenue Building as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage, AK area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station as of Tuesday. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Drifting snow blocks an Anchorage Hillside home on Tuesday afternoon, January 10, 2012.
Richard J. Murphy
Mountain View during the snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.
BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News
Shane Duff and Ralph Barger, of Straightline Pavement Maintenance, shovel the sidewalk in front of The 5th Avenue Building as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage, AK area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station as of Tuesday. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
The sun sets through a pane of glass plastered with frozen streaks of wind-blown snow on the Anchorage Hillside Tuesday afternoon, January 10, 2012.
Richard J. Murphy
Ron Rohl blows snow off the roof of The Odom Corporation Coca Cola Alaska headquarters building near Ship Creek on Friday, January 13, 2012. This is the second time this year that the roof has been cleared of snow.
Bob Hallinen / Anchorage Daily News
A snow machine rests on the side walk next to the Captain Cook Hotel after a two vehicle accident on 5th Avenue as another big snow fall hit the Anchorage, AK area on Thursday, January 12, 2012. The snow machine was on the back of a pickup truck involved in the accident. Anchorage has received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Snow drifts around the caretaker's building at the Glen Alps trailhead of Chugach State Park late Monday, January 9, 2011.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News

Valdez and Cordova aren't the only ones getting slammed with record-setting snow this winter. Add Alaska's largest city to that list.

A day of heavy snowfall Thursday in Anchorage put the city at a total of 88.8 inches for the winter, as of 3 p.m. That's a record at this point in the winter, the National Weather Service says.

Another 2 to 4 inches was expected Thursday night, followed by clear skies and cold temperatures for several days, forecasters said.

The snow forced the Anchorage School District to cancel participation in all out-of-district sports and activities -- including any in the Mat-Su Borough or on the Kenai Peninsula -- through Saturday due to dangerous driving conditions. Police warned drivers to slow down and use their headlights.

From 12 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, dispatchers received reports of 88 vehicles in distress -- or "ditch divers" -- 51 wrecks and five wrecks with injuries, police said.

The Thursday dump in Anchorage adds to an already immense snowpack for the season.

The weather service counts a snow year from July to June. From July 1 through Tuesday, Anchorage had received an official 81.3 inches of snow at the airport measuring station. Meteorologist Shaun Baines said that makes it the snowiest period for Anchorage since records have been kept.

If the pace keeps up through the last snows in either April or May, Anchorage is on track to have the snowiest winter ever, surpassing the previous record of 132.8 inches in 1954-55, Baines said.

Reported by Daily News reporter Casey Grove and The Associated Press.

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