Anchorage Faces Severe Winter Chaos, Business Evacuations Amid Historic Snow Accumulation

City Officials on High Alert as Businesses and Residents Grapple with Unprecedented Winter Crisis

Alaska finds itself in the grip of an extreme winter, with Anchorage, the state’s largest city, facing record-breaking snowfall.

City officials have issued an urgent warning to over 1,000 businesses, urging them to vacate their premises due to the threat of collapsing roofs under the weight of heavy snow.

Statewide Emergency Declaration as Snow-Covered Roofs Pose Imminent Threat to Structures

Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has declared a state of emergency effective until February 9, responding to the dire situation brought about by temperatures well below zero and over 8.5 feet of snow covering the state.

The emergency measures include the opening of warming facilities for the homeless and those without reliable heating.

Alaska’s Largest City Grapples with Unmanageable Snowfall, Struggling to Ensure Safety Amid Collapsing Roofs

Anchorage, accustomed to harsh winters, is facing an unprecedented challenge with temperatures reaching -17F (-27.2C) and snowfall surpassing 100 inches.

Even winter-savvy residents are expressing frustration with constant shoveling, snow-filled streets, and disruptions in daily life, including six days of remote learning due to school closures.

Alarming Collapse Incidents Prompt Citywide Action in the Midst of Alaska’s Unrelenting Winter Freeze

City officials have issued warning letters to 1,000 businesses, emphasizing the urgent need to vacate properties until snow is removed from rooftops.

Already, three commercial structures have collapsed under the weight of heavy snow, leading authorities to identify 500 to 1,000 buildings in Anchorage with immediate roof truss concerns.

Anchorage Navigates Unprecedented Snow Depths, Implementing Emergency Measures for Public Safety

Anchorage isn’t the only city grappling with near-record snowfalls; Juneau, the capital city, has recorded 69.5 inches of snow this month.

The situation is further exacerbated by temperatures reaching as low as -40F (-40C) in Fairbanks and a blizzard warning issued for the Eastern Beaufort Sea Coast.

In Kotzebue, extreme cold has caused heating fuel to thicken, rendering home heating systems unusable.

The National Weather Service has declared a winter storm watch for various areas, anticipating blizzard conditions and heavy snowfall.

Residents are urged to remain vigilant for signs of structural distress and consider snow removal to prevent potential roof collapses.

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