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Heavy snowfall in Anchorage leads to whiteout conditions, road closures

The southbound lanes of the Glenn Highway were slowed to a crawl after a multiple-car pileup due to low visibility Saturday on the highway, according to witness Shane Spencer. (Shane Spencer)

A heavy band of snow lingering over the Anchorage Bowl led to whiteout conditions, closed roads and a message from police asking people to stay home Saturday afternoon.

Temporary closures of the Seward and Glenn highways occurred as a result of accidents related to the heavy snowfall Saturday morning. Anchorage police issued a statement asking people to stay home if possible due to whiteout conditions and unplowed streets.

Meteorologist Shaun Baines said the Anchorage National Weather Service office had received estimated reports of 6 to 10 inches of snow falling throughout Anchorage from Friday night through Saturday morning.

Baines said the heaviest snowfall occurred south of the municipality, with the area from Seward northward to Moose Pass reporting 2 to 2 1/2 feet of snow accumulation overnight.

But Baines said most of the event has been localized to the Anchorage Bowl. A heavy band of snow had settled over West Anchorage and led to significant accumulation.

However, the heaviest snow was expected to taper starting Saturday afternoon.

"It will lighten up, though the very light snow will linger," he said.

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