Snow, freezing rain make travel hazardous in Fairbanks and beyond

Snow and freezing rain coated the Fairbanks area Tuesday night and into Wednesday, making roads slick and delaying openings of schools and government offices.

The National Weather Service said 4 to 7 inches of snow fell overnight along with rain and freezing rain.

All schools in the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District opened two hours late Wednesday. If alternative bus routes have been designated, they were being used. Families were told to expect delays.

Afternoon dismissal times aren't changing.

"We urge caution when traveling," the district said in an email sent around 5:20 a.m. "Parents should make safety decisions for their students based on their individual circumstances. If students are kept home, please make sure to call the school office to have the absence excused."

State office buildings in Fairbanks were closed until 1 p.m.

The state Department of Transportation said in a #Fairbanks tweet that  "all available equipment is out and crews are working overtime."


Some 14 pieces of equipment were working to clear and sand more than 2,000 miles of road, DOT said.

Late Tuesday night, DOT warned against traveling on the Parks Highway from Mile 163 to Fairbanks.

"Conditions are HAZARDOUS due to heavy rain and black ice," DOT said.

Around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, DOT said crews were making good progress but that conditions on the Parks Highway from Mile 160 to Fairbanks remained difficult.  Travel should be better by afternoon, the agency said.

Lisa Demer

Lisa Demer was a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Dispatch News. Among her many assignments, she spent three years based in Bethel as the newspaper's western Alaska correspondent. She left the ADN in 2018.