300 loads of snow removed as part of efforts to clear Eagle River avalanche


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) – The city’s efforts to clear the massive avalanche that blocked Hiland Road in Eagle River are continuing on schedule, according to the Municipality of Anchorage. The city’s emergency management office said more than 300 loads of snow had already been removed.

The Anchorage Office of Emergency Management said in a Facebook post Tuesday that clearing the Eagle River avalanche is going well and will continue, pending any changes to safety at the avalanche site. The landslide blocked many homes behind where it covered Hiland Road and initially knocked out power to more than 100 customers when it happened on Thursday evening.

Some residents were evacuated so that the municipality could make mitigation efforts, to knock down the snow that was likely to fall naturally. They were allowed to return home on Sunday once those efforts were over.

On Tuesday, the municipality continued to shuttle people between the West River Road trailhead and Birdsong Drive for people whose homes are behind the slide, along an emergency evacuation trail that has been put in place. square. The avalanche blocked about 300 to 400 feet of the road and was 80 feet deep in places.

Anchorage Fire Department Deputy Chief Alex Boyd said Tuesday there were more than 20 trucks on the ground to help clear the snow.

“Once we were able to take the danger out of the game for that, we were able to be the draft and things went very, very well for the teams on the field here,” Boyd said.

The municipality originally set up an emergency shelter at the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Recreation Center, but it has now been demobilized.

According to Matanuska Electrical Association, there were 25 members without power on Tuesday afternoon. The utility wrote in a Facebook post that its staff had been working with the municipality’s Incident Command to determine if it could safely access the area to begin repairing electrical equipment damaged by the avalanche.

“The MEA will create and install temporary electrical installations to restore the majority of the remaining 25 members without power,” the utility wrote. “If all goes as planned, we believe we should have at least 20 of the residences restored within the next 48 hours.”

The Office of Emergency Management reminded those who use generators to power their homes to make sure their main circuit breaker is turned off.

Currently, Boyd said the municipality and other agencies involved are working from about 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“We only work during daylight hours due to risk assessment needs,” he said. “We need to be able to have our eyes on the mountain to peek at the elements of the snowpack and work through those processes.”

On the legislative level, the Anchorage Assembly is due to meet on Wednesday to vote on a resolution that would extend Mayor Dave Bronson’s term. disaster emergency declaration which was released on Saturday.

Officials said it would take at least two weeks to clear the snow and debris from Hiland Road.

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