Extreme: Avalanche danger over Behrends Avenue in Juneau - Must Read Alaska
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Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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Extreme: Avalanche danger over Behrends Avenue in Juneau

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The City and Borough of Juneau recommends residents in Behrends Ave. avalanche path to evacuate; an evacuation center at Centennial Hall opens at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Juneau’s Urban Avalanche Advisory will transition from high to extreme tonight as avalanche danger continues to increase over the next 24-36 hours.

Due to the potential for historic avalanches should the Behrends Avenue avalanche path release at full width at the depth of snow instabilities, the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency Management wants residents residents in paths to evacuate. As the winter storm continues and transitions to rain Saturday, danger levels will increase.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • And they decided to allow homes to be built there, why?

    • Josephdj, Those Homes were for the most part built in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. In 1962 there was a major avalanche which tore off roofs from several houses in the area. I suppose one could wonder why homes were ever built in Anchorage, since it sits on a bowl of liquefaction prone glacial silt. Chalk it up to the rugged individualism that once existed in Alaska. I have a dear friend that lives on Behrends Avenue smack dab in the center of this Damocles Sword. He, having survived Brain Cancer hasn’t been too troubled by the threat of an avalanche over the years. A very tough and independent Alaskan!

      • You haven’t said whether/not your friend stayed in his home last night Robert. We have a good friend who lives in that avalanche zone who is troubled by that threat and has remained away from her home of many years.
        Juneau has a lot of folks providing much information on this snowpack above this area and their knowledge is giving these homeowners much needed knowledge to keep themselves as safe as possible IMO.
        Today’s situation is something to behold and probably a much higher risk situation that “over the years.” Looking slightly better this morning.

        • Billy Boy, why does this subject “trigger” you so? Yes Billy, my friend did spend the night at his house located on the “west end” of Behrends Ave. I lived on Behrends Ave in the 1960’s and thought it safer than Turnagain in West Anchorage, where our home survived the “64 big one while others down the street were not so lucky. Point is Billy, there are risks in this life, thankfully some people still have the freedom to make decisions about how to deal with risks.

          • Frankly Robert, you seem to be the one “triggered” here. So your friend was lucky with his “freedom” and could have put some at risk if things had turned out differently.
            Does your friend use his freedom to avoid seat belts, too?
            Yessir, nothing like the freedom to take unnecessary risks and there is a name for that, too.

          • Honestly Billy, do you wear your face diaper to bed too? I think you may be oxygen deprived lately.

          • Boy Robert, what does face masks have to do with anything here.
            I’m surprised you didn’t furnish your friend a revolver and one bullet to bide his time while waiting for that avalanche. You know for “freedoms!”

    • Some people see the glass half full. Others half empty. And some are angry other people have a glass in the first place

  • It is worth reflecting that the last avalanche in this area was fifty years or so. (The “Bear Doctor” is a expert on that…). The most vulnerable area of roughly twenty-five homes is north and west of Highland Drive. I roughly compare the situation to the vastly expanded technology used to predict, detect and monitor hurricanes. We now pay “experts” to run such things and there are several reasons why perceived dangers will now be trumpeted. Living in Alaska is risky. If that troubles people, they should move somewhere safer, like East St. Louis, downtown Portland or Sao Paulo.

    • Several other avalanches in this area since that big one in 62 but your blunder here is not acknowledging them. And it’s just your opinion about the Highland Drive situation and it’s not being considered of huge importance during this particular situation. On another day it could, of course, but did you have a point with this post? And what was it?

      • Live on Behrends Avenue much, Mr. Bill? I have. Please go away.

        • I’ll guess you don’t live there now. And what was your point with that bs post?

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