An evacuation has been ordered in a suburb of Alaska’s largest city after an avalanche plowed through a residential area and another slide was believed to be imminent.
Residents were ordered to leave the Hiland Road area of Eagle River on the outskirts of town over the weekend.
The avalanche cut off access to about 100 homes, and some lost power.
No one was reported missing and no injuries were reported. The property damage is still being assessed.
Rescuers cut a trail to reach stranded residents and removed people in snowmobile shuttles, said Anchorage Deputy Fire Chief Alex Boyd, the chief of operations.
“To protect the lives and property of residents affected by the Hiland Road avalanche, I issued a disaster declaration this morning to ensure all community resources are utilized and ready for action,” Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson tweeted Saturday .
“Our top priority remains the safety of our friends and neighbors in the region.”
Both the mayor and Alaska’s Gov. Mike Dunleavy were there on Sunday. Mayor Bronson reported that mitigation efforts had been made, but significant risks remained.
Mitigation efforts included a plan to drop explosives by helicopter to set off a controlled avalanche.
The first avalanche had descended the mountain just before midnight last Thursday, leaving an estimated 80-foot layer of snow over the main road. Only about half of the snow in the slide zone has been loosened and experts expect a second avalanche.
Avalanches are common in the Chugach Mountains, which provide a dramatic backdrop for Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city with a population of about 300,000.
However, local officials said the avalanche was unprecedented, describing it as a “once in 100 years”.
It will take several weeks to clear the snow, and without intervention, the area would likely remain cut off through the summer.
https://www.independent.ie/world-news/north-america/evacuation-in-anchorage-alaska-after-80ft-deep-avalanche-41497195.html Evacuation in Anchorage, Alaska after an 80-foot-deep avalanche