Another round of snow made for difficult driving conditions around Southcentral by Monday afternoon and closed the only highway in and out of Valdez for several hours.
Reports on social media noted difficult driving conditions in Anchorage as well as on the Glenn and Seward highways. The Department of Transportation described conditions surrounding Turnagain Pass as difficult Monday afternoon, with icy patches and packed snow covering wet, icy roads.
Anchorage police were called to 22 collisions by 3:30 p.m. Monday, six of which included injuries, according to spokeswoman Renee Oistad. Police received reports of nine additional vehicles in distress, which can include cars that have gone into the ditch.
The National Weather Service advised drivers to slow down and use caution during the evening commute.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities closed the Richardson Highway for more than 25 miles in both directions for the better part of the day near Valdez as heavy snow and wind limited visibility on Monday.
The highway closed from Mile 18 to 46 around 9:30 a.m. and reopened shortly before 7 p.m., according to Alaska 511.
Snow hit much of Southcentral Alaska on Monday and hit Valdez and Cordova especially hard, said National Weather Service meteorologist Carson Jones.
“A line of really heavy snow showers, just one after the other, (has) been moving directly over Thompson Pass and Valdez for the last 12 or so hours,” Jones said Monday afternoon. “With that, winds coming out of the southeast have been able to transport the snow onto the roadway and create generally white-out and hazardous conditions.”
The snow was beginning to taper off in the area by afternoon, but Jones said light snow could linger through Wednesday.
Anchorage snow totals were expected to be 3 to 5 inches, with higher amounts possible on the Hillside, Jones said.