Highways reopen after heavy snow creates hazardous conditions across Southcentral

Heavy snow throughout Southcentral Alaska created dangerous conditions on many of the major roadways across the region, prompting some closures that had been lifted by Thursday afternoon.

The Seward Highway was closed for much of Thursday from near Summit Lake through Moose Pass to Crown Point because heavy snow was making it impassable in places from Seward to the Hope Cutoff, the Alaska Department of Transportation said.

Deep snow covered the road and disabled vehicles added to the hazardous conditions, Alaska State Troopers said. Snow ranged from 7 to 22 inches across the region, they said.

By Thursday afternoon, after crews had worked to clear the roadways, the Seward Highway had reopened.

In the thick of the storm, DOT had urged people to travel only for emergencies. The snowfall had eased later in the day Thursday, giving road crews an opportunity to catch up.

Closer to Valdez, the Richardson Highway had been closed at Mile 55 through Thompson Pass due to heavy snow mixed with rain, but reopened by midday Thursday, the department said.

Conditions along parts of the Sterling, Glenn and Parks highways were described by DOT as difficult throughout the day, with an ice glaze and packed snow reported in some areas and blowing, drifting and deep snow in others. The north end of the Sterling Highway had received more than 2 feet of snow by Thursday morning, according to troopers.

Heavy snow started Wednesday afternoon through much of Southcentral Alaska, prompting most schools in the region to close or shift to remote learning Thursday.

Tess Williams

Tess Williams is a reporter focusing on breaking news and public safety. Before joining the ADN in 2019, she was a reporter for the Grand Forks Herald in North Dakota. Contact her at