Anchorage’s first significant snowfall leads to day of traffic chaos

With the first snow falling across the Anchorage area Monday, slick roads caused hazardous conditions for driving, causing 90 vehicle accidents and prompting the Anchorage School District to cancel after school activities.

By midmorning Monday, Anchorage police had responded to 18 collisions, and 34 cars had skidded into ditches since midnight, said APD spokesman MJ Thim.

By 1 p.m. the number had risen to 42 collisions and 70 vehicles in distress, Thim said.

And by 6 p.m., the number had skyrocketed to 100 collisions and 101 vehicles in distress.

A total of 12 people were injured in traffic-related collisions. No one was seriously injured, said APD spokeswoman Renee Oistad.

APD was still responding to crashes as the evening commute began in late afternoon, Oistad said.

"Plan on slippery road conditions," the National Weather Service said. Snow was expected to continue through about 6 p.m. Monday.


Leave early, go slowly and leave extra room between vehicles, the department recommends.

Some of the problems happened along the Glenn Highway, but there were no major closures due to traffic accidents during the morning commute, Thim said.

However, deteriorating conditions prompted the Anchorage School District to cancel after-school and sports activities Monday.

The National Weather Service is still calling for 2 to 6 inches of snow in the Anchorage Bowl and up to a foot on the Hillside. Snow is expected to taper off Monday evening.

Michelle Theriault Boots

Michelle Theriault Boots is a longtime reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. She focuses on in-depth stories about the intersection of public policy and Alaskans' lives. Before joining the ADN in 2012, she worked at daily newspapers up and down the West Coast and earned a master's degree from the University of Oregon.