Rain, ice slick streets

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 19:00
Weather Service calls for cool temperatures this week
A sheet of ice covers Upper Bowery Lane in Chugiak on Monday, Jan. 14. Although main roads remained mostly clear, ice-covered side roads caused the Anchorage School District to cancel classes districtwide on Jan. 14 due to the conditions.

Rain and 40-degree temperatures led to slick roads and some flooding in Chugiak-Eagle River over the weekend.

But, the worst might not be over.

Road conditions could continue to be treacherous as a cold front is expected to sweep through Southcentral Alaska this week, said Eddie Zingone, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Anchorage.

“The big deal is going to be the cool down,” he said Monday, Jan. 14. “Everything that is wet is going to be frozen hard.”

Zingone said the main streets and highways, which remained relatively clear last week, will likely turn into sheets of ice.

New snowfall would help mitigate the situation, Zingone said.

“I would love to see some snow on this,” he said.

However, it’s unlikely the Anchorage area will be receiving more white, fluffy stuff anytime soon, Zingone said.

The Anchorage School District also cancelled all classes and after-school activities Jan. 14.

Despite the icy roads, Anchorage Fire Department Station 11 in Eagle River didn’t see an increase in calls, said AFD spokesman Al Tamagni.

“The Eagle River run volume hasn’t been any higher than normal,” he said Monday.

That was also true for Anchorage, Tamagni said, and AFD hasn’t had difficulty navigating the city’s streets.

“The roads really aren’t terrible,” he said.

Crews worked all over Chugiak-Eagle River through the weekend trying to combat the ice with sand, said Eagle River Street Maintenance General Foreman Mark Littlefield.

“We’ve had all four sanders out the past three days,” he said Monday.

Crews have also been working to clear ice from the streets, Littlefield said.

Two areas of Eagle River — Old Eagle River Road and Prince of Peace Drive — experienced flooding over the weekend, Littlefield said.

Crews were in the process of clearing all storm drains when the rain started pouring, he said.

“It’s not uncommon to have storm drain covers ice over,” Littlefield said.

Unfortunately, not all the drains were cleared, he said, but the flooding was limited.

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