27 January 2014
Valdez Still Cut Off; More Avalanches Feared
State transportation officials said Sunday it will be at least Tuesday before avalanche debris can be cleared from the Richardson Highway outside Valdez.
Valdez city officials, meanwhile, warned residents to prepare for the road to be closed a week or longer.
The town of 4,000 has been cut off since Friday, when avalanches hundreds of feet long and up to 30 to 40 feet deep blocked the highway, which links the Valdez to the rest of the state's road system.
On Saturday, an even bigger avalanche further entombed the highway in a jumble of snow, ice, rock and water, officials said.
The Alaska Department of Transportation closed a 50-mile stretch of the highway starting 12 miles out of Valdez and ending north of Thompson Pass.