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Southcentral roads slick as parts of Kenai Peninsula see major snow dump

  • Author: Chris Klint
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published February 21, 2016

Icy road conditions Sunday prompted Anchorage police to ask that people stay home if possible Sunday, as Girdwood and parts of the Kenai Peninsula reported seeing nearly 3 feet of snow from a weather system passing over Southcentral Alaska.

Snow overnight in Anchorage had turned to rain by morning in much of the city, making driving difficult and leading to numerous accidents around the city and "glare ice" on the Glenn Highway, according to the Anchorage Police Department.

Police spokeswoman Renee Oistad said that as of 4:45 p.m. Sunday, police had seen seven injury accidents, 20 vehicles in distress and 30 non-injury accidents since midnight.

The Glenn Highway, and most of the side roads, are glare ice. It's a good day to stay home if you can. Be careful!— APD Public Info. (@APDInfo) February 21, 2016

Oistad said that although the Glenn Highway was a particular point of concern, police were seeing bad conditions "everywhere," especially along offramps and side roads.

"It's all over -- it's a mess," Oistad said.

And though snowfall wasn't extreme in Anchorage, areas south of the city saw snow piling up Sunday.

NWS meteorologist Emily Niebuhr said Sunday afternoon that reports of snow depths from Homer varied, but some reported seeing more than 2 feet of snow in their area.

"The latest is we have is about 17 inches out of Homer northwest," Niebuhr said. "We did have one report, 200 feet from Kachemak Bay, of 30 inches in Homer."

Homer Police Department dispatchers said Sunday that state crews with the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities were digging out area roads, with motorists reporting several accidents but only one injury. No power outages had been reported Sunday.

Niebuhr said Alyeska Resort near Girdwood also reported 30 inches of snow Sunday. According to the resort's Facebook page, the Round House and upper tram terminal were "absolutely buried" by snow, preventing skiing for the day.

Christian Cassell, an Anchorage-based National Weather Service forecaster, said another weather system will move into Southcentral Alaska on Tuesday, bringing snow to coastal areas as well as a lesser amount to inland areas including Anchorage and the Mat-Su.

"We're just going to see a prolonged period of snow showers, especially in areas exposed to the Gulf (of Alaska)," Cassell said. "There's going to be another chance of rain and snow for most areas, so it's an active weather pattern."

No measurable snowfall was recorded in Anchorage Saturday, allowing the city to break a 36-day record for days without measurable snow set in 1958.

"We did set it at 37 days, (then) the record streak ended," Cassell said.

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