Alaska started out great but this month everything has gone to hell in a hand basket! The so called Polar Vortex has disrupted "normal" weather patterns. The massive high pressure plaguing the western half of the lower 48 has also directed the Jet Stream to flow due north. This has brought record warmth and rain to Alaska. It has been hitting the upper 40`s in Anchorage. Here in Fairbanks, our normal sub zero weather has turned into crippling freezing rain.
Alyeska has shut down indefinitely until the snow stabilizes and avalanches of biblical proportions have buried the Richardson Highway in Keystone Canyon between Thompson Pass and Valdez. Currently, all back country is a death trap due to massive amounts of rain and huge "glacier sized" avalanches are running to ground. This video was just released on the local news of the Keystone Canyon slide that formed an ice dam on the Lowe River, creating a huge and growing lake that is now over 60 feet deep covering the highway. When that dam goes, look out downstream!
Worst winter I have ever seen in my 22 years of living up here!
01-27-2014 07:23 AM
How do you even go about removing that? Does the highway department bother? Seems super dangerous to try but of the blockage broke seems that could be super dangerous too.
01-27-2014 08:06 AM
Alaska DOT is bombing the area by helicopter trying to stabilize the area so they can begin to clear the highway. Draining the lake safely seems problematic to me. Here is an Alaska Dispatch article about a fuel tanker driver who narrowly escaped getting take out by this monster!