More like iron ducks than Iron Dogs, the teams of snowmachines racing in what is supposed to be the world's longest, toughest snowmobile race were paddle-tracking their way through the Alaska Range late Sunday afternoon.
I know most of you have more snow than you know what to do with. We hardly have any at all.
Water-covered ice on Big Lake, rather than snow cover. Bill Roth/ADN
Never in the 31-year history of the 2,000-mile epic race had anyone seen anything like this. On a balmy day, racers started at two-minute intervals down a water-covered chute at Big Lake north of Anchorage and then slush-cupped their way north.
[snip] Snowmachines speeding through wet, heavy glop sprayed slush everywhere. The snow resembled wet cement, and it slowed the early going.
It's Everywhere Dept:
Fairbanks North Star Borough schools are closed Monday because of icy conditions, the district's website said, and all school-related classes are canceled as well because of the freezing rain.Accidental Shooting Dept:
"Interior roads are covered in ice," the DOT wrote on Facebook. "All available trucks are out sanding, but please remember that sand stays on the roads for a limited time."
The DOT also advised that the Parks Highway in the vicinity of Talkeetna had "difficult" driving conditions and black ice Sunday morning, as temperatures hovered around 36 degrees. Rain showers were expected to continue, and temperatures in the area were expected to reach the 40s on Monday, according to the NWS forecast.
It was even raining in the far-flung Western Alaska community of Nome, which was experiencing temperatures above freezing and rain falling Sunday, according to the DOT.
A 4-year-old boy from Wasilla was shot through the leg, after his mother's gun fell out of its holster and discharged, Alaska State Troopers wrote in a dispatch, Saturday afternoon.
At around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, troopers responded to reports of a child with a gunshot wound to the leg, at 4900 E Palmer-Wasilla highway.
Investigations revealed that "as the family was getting out of their pickup truck in the parking lot the mother's .357 magnum revolver fell out of her holster and struck the pavement by the hammer which caused the revolver to discharge a round," troopers wrote.
Troopers wrote that the fired round struck the child "just above the knee then exited his leg and lodged in the trim of the building."