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Record snow in Anchorage as Alaskan communities run out of shovels following 27ft snowfall... and there's more to come!

Mark Duell Daily Mail 01/13/2012 18:51
Record snow in Anchorage as Alaskan communities run out of shovels following 27ft snowfall... and there's more to come! - weather - Alaska - USA

Weary Alaskans woke up to another heavy snowfall as Anchorage experiences its snowiest period since records began, causing more headaches in coastal areas already struggling to dig out.

The snow started falling shortly before midnight last night and meteorologists warned Anchorage residents that the heaviest snowfall - up to 16 inches - could come later on Thursday.

About 150 miles to the southeast, the Prince William Sound community of Cordova, which has already been buried under 172 inches of snow since November, could get another 7 inches today.


Assistance: Alaska National Guardsmen clear a building roof in Cordova as they help shovel what has been the biggest snowfall in decades in the area

Moving slowly: Russian-flagged tanker Renda transits through the Bering Sea with U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy's assistance, on its way to Nome, Alaska


The picturesque fishing community has had so much snow that National Guard troops helping clear roads are running out of shovels.

‘The scary part is, we (have) still three more months to go,’ said Kathryn Hawkins, a veterinarian who lives in nearby coastal community Valdez, which has seen 318 inches, or 27ft, of snow.

It has been difficult to keep up with the shovelling - and 8ft walls of snow line either side of her driveway. After snow fell off her roof she cannot see out either the front or back of her house.

‘I look out and go: “Oh my gosh, where can it all go?”’ she said.

In the ice-choked frozen waters of the Bering Sea, a Russian tanker loaded with 1.3million gallons of fuel is inching toward the iced-in community of Nome.

It is following in the path being painstakingly ploughed by a Coast Guard icebreaker. Thick ice, wind and unfavourable ocean currents had the vessels making little progress.


Covered: Snow envelopes the high school in the fishing town of Cordova, Alaska. Dozens of National Guard troops are helping Cordova dig out from massive snows

But conditions improved on Wednesday and a Coast Guard spokesman said the tanker and the icebreaker were 78 miles from Nome. The city missed its final pre-winter delivery of fuel by barge.

That was because a big storm swept the region last autumn. Without the delivery, Nome could run short of fuel before a barge delivery becomes possible in late spring.