ANCHORAGE – Alaska is being buried in snow. They’ve already crushed all records – 160 inches
The worst winter anyone can remember in Alaska (or anywhere on earth) has piled snow so high people can’t see out the windows – of the top floors of their houses! It’s also kept a tankers in ice-choked waters from delivering fuel on time and turned snow-packed roofs into sled runs.
While most of the nation has gone without much seasonal snow, the state already known for winter is buried in weather that has dumped more than twice as much snow as usual on its largest city, brought out the National Guard and put a run on snow shovels.
As a Russian tanker crawled toward the iced-in coastal community of Nome to bring in much-needed fuel, weather-weary Alaskans awoke Thursday to more of the white stuff and said enough was enough.
“The scary part is, we still have three more months to go,” said Kathryn Hawkins, a veterinarian who lives in the coastal community of Valdez, about 100 miles southeast of Anchorage. “I look out and go, ‘Oh my gosh, where can it all go?’”
More than 55 feet of snow has fallen in Valdez since November. The 18-foot snow piles outside Hawkins’ home are so high she can’t see out the front or back of her house. Her 12-year-old son has been sliding off the roof into the yard.
In the nearby fishing community of Cordova, more than 372 inches of snow has fallen since November; snow began falling again after midnight Wednesday. The Alaskan National Guard was called in to help move the snow, and the city is running out of places to put it. Front-end loaders are hauling snow from dump piles to a snow-melting machine.
“That’s our big issue, getting our snow dumps cleared for the next barrage of snow,” Cordova spokesman Allen Marquette said.
Anchorage had 138 inches fall as of Thursday — more than twice the average snowfall of 60.1 inches for the same time period. The weather service counts July 1 through the end of June as a snow season. More than 17 inches had fallen on Thursday and more than a three feet was expected.
This year’s total already broke the record 79.3 inches that fell during the same period in 1993-94. If it keeps up, Anchorage is on track to have the snowiest winter ever, demolishing the previous record of 132.8 inches in 1954-55.
Check out some of the snow mayhem in Alaska: