Snowmaggedon in Anchorage

Anchorage snow removal at work.

There’s no sugarcoating it — this has been an historic snowstorm.

In some parts of Anchorage, the power went out late Tuesday night and just came back on Friday night, after a major snowstorm walloped Alaska’s largest city this week.

One resident in the Turnagain neighborhood reported all of his freezer and refrigerator contents had to be tossed. The Chugach Electric Association power outage map is at this link.

Those with electric cars in some neighborhoods were out of luck With power out, there was no charging up, unless they had gas-powered generators.

About 1,500 in Anchorage were without power on Friday afternoon. As of Friday night, nearly 1,000 customers were still dark, including some on the Hillside, where snow depth reached 30 inches.

For the second day in a row, there was more than 9 inches of snow in Anchorage, and the snow depth of 21 inches exceeds the greatest for so early in the season, according to the National Weather Service. The season-to-date snow of 27.4″ already exceeds the 25.1″ for all of 2014-15, NWS said.

In other areas of Southcentral, outages are still reported in Halibut Cove, a few outages are current in Homer, and 341 in the Kenai area.


  1. Solitude Resort in Utah just had its earliest opening since 1983. Smacks at the climate alarmists. I’m sure they’ll chant “we did it, no time to become complacen.t”

    Meanwhile, I’ll go on scratching my head.

  2. “One resident in the Turnagain neighborhood reported all of his freezer and refrigerator supplies had to be tossed.”
    Does he not realize he’s living in one giant state-sized refrigerator/freezer? Not always… but people sometimes deserve what they get.

    • While that seems logical and practical, please remember that it is still November and the bears are not all headed to higher ground to hibernate yet. That will just make your day complete having a grizzly on your deck…..
      We have done coolers in the past. Filling them with our frozen goods and packing snow around them works okay and at least it will extend your time before you have to toss stuff. The advantage, you can keep coolers in your garage.

  3. “Those with electric cars in some neighborhoods were out of luck With power out, there was no charging up, unless they had gas-powered generators.”

    Love this quote as it shows the obscene bias of MRAK. I’ve had an EV for 5 years and power outages have never been an issue. How many car owners park their cars with no gas/power? I charge my EV maybe once a month and even if a power outage did happen then, I could still drive for several days.

    Pure journalistic cowardice.

    • That’s great that you have no reason to drive often, just like anyone who doesn’t drive an ICE vehicle many miles you won’t consume much energy compared to an individual who does. Please share the maximum range of your vehicle and the KWH consumption for charging those 60 times in five years of ownership.

    • You must not depend on driving your EV much. Many people, were an EV their main ride, would have real problems. Daily commutes etc. Also if we were all depending solely on electric heat pumps and fossil fuels/appliances (including FF vehicles) were all banned, as seems to be the in philosophy, well the problems are obvious, especially if the temps were 0 or below. It’s not bias, it’s fact.

    • Pure disingenuous radical leftist virtue signaling.

      (Although the phrase “virtue signaling” is a misnomer, as there is precious little if any actual “virtue” in any of the things that radical leftists love to self-righteously posture and preen about.)

    • “Pure journalistic cowardice.”
      How so??? It is a statement of fact. When the power is out you can’t charge your car. People don’t plan on power outages and unlike gas cars, they have their energy source at home. So it stands to reason that some may be low on charge upon returning from work etc.
      Your anecdotal story is nice, but hardly representative, as energy secretary Granholm’s road trip this summer demonstrated.
      It comes down to individual driving behavior, how many miles you drive in a week, if you live in a cold climate and how your range is impacted by weather.

    • Pointing out the exception does not disprove the rule.
      While I am sure your think your anecdotal evidence is somehow meaningful, I suspect you are the only one who thinks so.

  4. So everybody take a deep breath and let the city dig out without all the complaining about poor service. The city plows are working around the clock. Remember we live in a snow environment.

    • I agree. I lived in AK for 48 years. Back then the power could be out for days. I would just go get down in dishwasher or kettles and put them in the fridge. And anything else outside. Da!!. Do people even know how to rough it anymore.

      • Diane, thank you.
        I am very interested in what you said, but it appears you left a few steps out for those, who may not have been here as long (or alive).
        Sounds to me like you got pots and pans filled them with snow and put them in the fridge??? Sort of like the old icebox concept??

  5. I had to drive into Anchorage yesterday on the Glenn Highway, and it was the WORST drive I have ever experienced on the Glenn in 20+ years of living here. The washboarded ice had be at times having to slow to 20 mph in order to maintain control (I was towing a trailer at the time). When I got to Merrill Field — after driving through a multi-vehicle accident that had apparently happened only maybe a minute before — I turned right around and went back home. And that drive was even WORSE than the incoming drive!

    Part of what made this, and many other recent wintertime drives, so bad is the abominable treatment that the state DOT has been giving the highways during the winter. Instead of plowing, scraping and sanding as they always used to do, they have apparently opted to go the lazy and cheap route now, and are spreading some vile, filthy mixture of salt, mud and I don’t know what else on the roads, causing huge amounts of dangerous and filthy slush. This filthy, sloppy slush almost immediately covers and obscures one’s headlights, making driving only that more dangerous.

    Anchorage-area highways were maintained FAR better 20 and more years ago, when the road crews actually dealt responsibly and effectively with the snow and ice. What they are doing now and recently is a travesty and a dereliction of duty.

    • Twenty years ago Jefferson there was a different work crew. People twenty years ago had better work standards and work ethics. I was just saying this twenty years ago I remember it was hard to get a job especially in an industry that may be new for the applicant. Now because of the high shortage finding applicants who may be more likely to show up to work finding a job is easy today for those seeking.

      • That is undoubtedly true, Jen, but the changes in road maintenance (for the worse) that I am referring to here are clearly the consequences of policies at the administrative level, not due to personal work performance or the lack thereof.

        • The Nov. 8th – 9th snow fall coupled with how wet and heavy it was, may well be a 1 in 50 year snow event.
          Summarize; everyone was caught by surprise.

          • Wrong, 3rd. Clearly, you do not live in the Anchorage area, or you would surely remember the THREE such storms that hit in rapid succession last December.

          • Last year’s Dec snowstorms were all predicted as snow. They missed the amounts on the low side. Last week’s was predicted as a rain and snow event, mostly rain. There were flood warnings for the creeks here in town. Happily (or sadly depending on your POV), it all fell as snow rather than rain. Cheers –

        • And just as destructive as salt (sodium chloride) to vehicles and concrete.

          But hey, why should the DOT think about consequences and long-term costs to the public at large, when they can take the cheap and lazy way out of (supposedly) maintaining the roads.

  6. I thinking the poorer service that’s been given to Alaska state, but state roads is bit better, and city roads over the recent years is due to worker shortage even poor management but also a manager can’t train good work ethics into their workers if a worker doesn’t really like working. I heard jewel lake rd was a mess after the first snow dump, and was told even through it appeared the city employee running the tractor over it he didn’t do a good nor thoughtful job and worsened that road’s Condition for those using it that day.

    Majority of Alaskans have a work moral issue and little work ethic development from not working long enough and not long enough in one employment to become competent and efficient. Alaskans struggle with working and working when they must. They either find an excuse to not work or why shotty work is acceptable even blaming those affected they have too high unattainable standards.

    • Back in the early days of “my career” in Anchorage newspaper headlines informed everyone about the need of the state to become a competitive employer. The demand from private sectors for road building, facilities building and road maintenance moved to the private sector the most skilled for the much superior wages and benefits. No one with great skill would consider working for the public sector at all. So the legislators raised salaries to get anyone, at all, to work for them. Some say they ended up with the mediocre level of employees. Minorities felt a compelling opportunity to work in “public” employment at least might be there. However the ratio of natives hired and those who retired can only be explained by unrestrained by anything (including federal laws against racial discrimination notwithstanding) prove that such laws were not enforced against the state by Republican or Democrat administrations from that period to current day. As a result the native families endured enforced segregation from wealth creation to this day. The “quality” of public employees remains approximately the same.

  7. Oh thanks Jefferson, I thought I was the only one that noticed the laziness AND deficient methods of road maintenance statewide as well as within the municipality of Anchorage compared to attitudes and efficiencies of the past.

    The current attitudes of the Union operators is “If our department doesnt get the funding and labor contracts approved with what we want then the paying customers will suffer the consequences”.

    I have seen AND heard these comments from employees who purposely sandbag the entire operational efficiency of the department because like when children dont get their share of candy they throw a fit and their temper tantrums are like warts…they spread to other employees creating havoc in the entire department making it difficult for even the few who are there to get the job done in a timely manner and move on.
    With the protection of the union those “warts” know they cant be fired for sandbagging as a private run business with a hard dollar competitive bid contract would handle the job.

    I witnessed the municipality spend an entire month working on a 300ft. stretch of gravel road installing a storm drain and paving. Lots of equipment and many operators and crew haulers spending more time traveling to and from daily while the adjoining neighborhood association got miles of new asphalt in 5 days from a private contractor with one third of the employees. It was laughable to see these two projects completed right next to each other at the same time in the same area with the same working conditions.
    The major difference was the hours of time each operator was sitting behind the wheel of an idling machine waiting for his hour of operating.
    Video games on the cell phone or sexting the wife or girlfriend from the seat of a 200k Volvo Grader helps pass the time AND guarantees overtime. An operator asleep at the wheel not only looks bad but an expensive piece of idling equipment is very costly as the hour meter dictates maintenance and replacement

    • Its sad to see the degenerate state of society. Other co workers lack of time efficiency and lower work standards and shotty methods makes the few workers like me question should I say something to my boss when I may be having a day like today I be given the heavy load cause I can do it and be finished at least by arrival time. Your response to Jefferson gave me the encouragement I needed to hear today after turning over 13 rooms in a 4 and half hours without cutting corners, thankful to God today the work load of the rooms was easy. Your comment encouraged me being strong and honest is an admirable characteristic. I’ll take the ladder. Besides this life is short Thank God He gave our lives a time limit that harder working employees don’t have to spend an eternity working side by side with those being intentionally weaker, selfish, and dishonest while they look after number 1.

    • My dream is to one day watch all of my fellow community members ditch the old property taxes to the borough, who STEAL the money for ridiculous contracts with shady members and start efficiently managing our own community roads with what would have been said tax money. We can do this a whole lot better and efficiently than the 2000 gov employees sitting on their Darry Aires collecting pension and benefits gaining 50 lbs every year from their desks.
      One day maybe….

  8. LOL spent this week in Anchorage. Stayed in a hotel on a major arterial route in midtown. Managed to get around town OK with a competent 4WD. Didn’t see a snow plow in action for our entire stay. The trip out of town on Friday was “interesting” to say the least. Perhaps the assembly would do well to worry less about pronoun usage and worry more about more mundane things … like plowing snow.

    • However, with “election month” just around the corner. It’s time to make sure as many beggars/ homeless are on as many street corners as possible AND the roads are crappy as can be for as long as possible. Then the mainstream super spreaders and that thing (under the guise of being a newspaper) can print a headline for the ill informed sheeple.
      Any guesses as to how the public sector unions are directing their members to perform? At least the ones they know are in lock step.

    • When I look at Spenard rd and its neighborhoods I guess their neighborhood council members are weak and they lack relationship with department heads and supervisors nor have experience getting what they want. I live in a tightly controlled democrat district and the council president woman she been Anchorage politics long time. Comparing our streets to Spenard, we have no problem with snow. The city hits our streets first. I give her all the credit for the promptness. I think council presidents can have more power to change their districts than an Assembly member ONLY IF the person knows how to make relationships, commits to city business behind the scenes even without knowledge from others not recognition, and speaks with a firm, courteous, and honest professional communication cause those are all her characteristic despite she is a democrat, but she is older leader but she rules the neighborhood and is widely respected cause she gets results such as our little street road is always plowed.

  9. Climate change! Stop driving your cars, get rid of your gas stoves and heaters, get rid of your gas powered generators. Of course if you do this you won’t survive and you’ll stop emitting carbon dioxide. A win win.

    • Just anyone not a democrat can continue driving and hearing their homes. All others are emitting pollution and must be eliminated off the road and live in the cold.

  10. You would think Alaska DOT and the Muni of Anchorage provides world class snow plowing and snow removal service. I’m assuming that’s what any one living outside the state would expect because it’s Alaska. The service provided over the past several years has been horrendous and embarrassing.

  11. A grim reminder of how our electricity is fragile. Maybe increasing the reliability before forcing a change from fossil fuels would be prudent. Especially here, where city folks don’t have the means to heat their homes without gas and electricity. Of course, if they all used wood stoves they would soon be banned as well. My natural gas heater is not reliant on electricity and is a great comfort during power outages. As well as my oil lamps. Preserving my cold items is a no-brainer in the winter. Amazing how soon people lose their survival skills.

    • Me too. But it’s not his fault. It’s been a problem since 2011 when I first moved up here starting with the sidewalks were unusable. Before 2011 the last time I was living in Anchorage for 2006 I never problem using the sidewalks during snow. There was Always a path for walking and the bus stops were clear Always. I even saw the bus service agents each day making the bus stops clear really earning their wages. In 2011 I come back and see walkers precariously walking on berms making little single use foot trails following one another’s feet prints.

  12. And now we have ANOTHER big snowstorm expected on Sunday night and into Monday!
    And the road crew clowns will drag their heels, just like last December, and screw up the roads for the rest of the winter.

  13. But the homeless are housed. Fed. Clothed Cared for to the tune of how much? Name it Covid snow. The Ass Embly will have the streets to clean pavement in days

  14. So. This is what I personally experienced, commute wise, from Spenard to Fairview and back over the last week or so.

    Sunday, November 5th, I drove my 2001 Saturn SC1, front wheel drive to work at 0700. Spenard Road was pristine, just plowed, and in great shape. At the same time, none of the following were plowed at all. Minnesota, Benson, Northern Lights, A Street nor C Street, even they are all considered ‘major’ roads.

    Monday, November 6th, I switched to my 2000 Mercury Mountaineer, all-wheel drive to work at 0415. Spenard was a bit rougher, but still relatively smooth, compared to Minnesota, Benson, Northern Lights, C Street, and especially A Street, which had STILL not been bladed, causing not only wash boarding, but even worse, freezing ruts and crosscut ruts.

    Tuesday, November 7th, still driving my 2000 Mercury Mountaineer, all-wheel drive to work at 0430.

    Spenard was now a washboard nightmare, but compared to the supposed major roads of Minnesota, Benson, Northern Lights, A and C Streets, much more easily navigated, because of 8-inch or better cross berms at each intersection due to lack of plowing.

    Wednesday, November 8th, and yes, still with the Mountaineer, Spenard has smoothed out somewhat, but none of the main roads aforementioned have been sufficiently plowed, or even smoothed out, especially at intersections.

    Thursday, November 9th, still with Mountaineer, obviously, Spenard is passable, as is Minnesota, but Benson, Northern Lights, C Street and A Street seem to have not been plowed, especially within the intersections, especially C Street and A Street anywhere near Fireweed.

    Friday, November 10th. Mountaineer. Spenard back to pristine condition. Sadly, all the other previously mentioned main roadways are STILL not sufficiently plowed, even within a small area, such as the left-hand lane traveling North on A Street approaching Fireweed with ridges approaching a foot deep.

    Today, Saturday, November 11th. Mountaineer. Spenard was good, but Benson was beyond a washboard. And then the left hand turn onto A Street, which was fine until north of Northern Lights when it still was NOT plowed and pure high washboard, nearly uncontrollable all the way to 16th Ave, unto which 16th Ave was smooth, gladly to get off the terrible washboard of A Street.

    But the worst part was the return home. Gambell south from Fairview to Northern Lights was not bad at all, nor was Northern Lights westbound from Gambell unto Denali.

    It then became progressively worse, until such time that by A Street, the road was no longer washboard, it was ice jam like with peaks and valleys of over a foot within their differences from top to bottom and side to side. By Spenard, no control could happen within the vehicle at more than 15 mph, as anything more, the vehicle would be thrown side to side with no control from the operator of the vehicle.

    This is what is called snow management?

    The Municipality and the State are both culpable within the complete lack of planning and execution of snow pushing and removal of said snow, and now, of course, ice valleys and peaks upon our supposed major roads.

    • Wow! Thank you, Randy, for that highly detailed and informative post!

      Sadly, it is reflective of a municipal government with nothing but contempt for the public whom they supposedly serve.

      • The issue is the state and muni road mess.
        However according to KTUU the mayor is coordinating with state to have muni plows help clear state roads. That to me makes sense. They are driving around anyway, might as well put the blade down and clear.
        I am sure the assembly will find a way to accuse him of another violation, then probably claw back the the snow removal budgeted funds and spending them on more hotel rooms for homeless.

  15. I think they want people to stay in their homes to coincide with their need to fully control the city or fully one half the state’s population by the Democrat legion just like the recent new normal but with a twist. Only then will they feel at peace momentarily.


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