independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Think you've got weather problems? Alaskan town cut off by 40ft avalanche

Coast town may remain isolated for a week

The weather might have been appalling in Britain recently, but spare a thought for the residents of the Alaskan town of Valdez, who have been totally cut off by a 40ft avalanche.

The 4,000 inhabitants of the coastal town, around 300 miles from Canada’s biggest city, Anchorage, can only wait out the snow as crews attempt to clear the only road connecting their town to Canada.

Video and photographs give some indication of just how bad the weather has got – aerial crews have reportedly been dropping explosives onto the site this Saturday in an attempt to avoid further snow slides.

It’s believed the 50-mile stretch of road will remain blocked for at least a week, although local authorities believe they have enough fuel to outlast the snow – and can be supplied by boat.

That might not be the end of residents’ problems though – as the snow melts there is a significant danger of flash flooding and authorities are beginning to advise people to evacuate.

Avalanche debris is pictured on the Richardson Highway in Alaska in this January 25, 2014 handout photo.  Road traffic to Valdez, Alaska, was cut off from the rest of the state after avalanches
Avalanche debris is pictured on the Richardson Highway in Alaska in this January 25, 2014 handout photo. Road traffic to Valdez, Alaska, was cut off from the rest of the state after avalanches

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