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UPDATE: Thane Road open again following avalanches

Avalanche danger remains high, city forecaster says

Posted: February 2, 2012 - 10:02am
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An avalanche that cut loose sometime around midnight Wednesday, is now blocking Thane Road.  Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
An avalanche that cut loose sometime around midnight Wednesday, is now blocking Thane Road.

UPDATE: Thane Road is open again to traffic, according to the City and Borough of Juneau's emergency programs manager.

However, avalanche danger remains high and will for the next 48 hours, Tom Mattice, who also forecasts avalanches for the city, stated in a urban avalanche advisory.

•••

Around midnight Wednesday, an avalanche large enough to reach the tide line ripped down the side of Mount Roberts and across Thane Road, blocking all traffic according to a release from the Juneau Police Department.

Since the incident, further investigation into the size of the avalanche was done from the Douglas Boat Harbor. According to a release from the JPD, the avalanche appeared to have come down the chute that is historically most active and the snow and debris had reached the tide line. The depth and width of the avalanche is being determined this morning, Thursday, according to the release.

JPD said that the Alaska Department of Transportation will be responding to clear the area as soon as it is safe to do so.

A second avalanche has repordedly slid down the slopes of Mount Juneau, said Juneau Empire Reporter Klas Stolpe. He said the slide occurred at the Alaska Electric Light & Power Pump Station along the Flume Trail past Basin Road. City and Borough of Juneau Avalanche Forecaster Tom Mattice is currently on his way to investigate. Homeowners said the slide came to their back doors.

In the most recent avalanche forecast, published on the city website, Mattice stated avalanche danger remains "high" and the likelihood of avalanches occuring is "likely." This forecast is in effect until 7 a.m. tomorrow, Friday.

A joint release from the city and the U.S. Forest Service stated that Juneau residents should avoid the backcountry and trails in the area due to the likelihood of an avalanche. Areas of note include, but are not limited to, the Flume, Perseverance, Mount Roberts, Mount Juneau, Dan Moller and Dupont trails.The public is urged to avoid all avalanche terrain for at least 48 hours. For current avalanche conditions and additional information, go online to juneau.org/avalanche.

There have been no reports of persons or property being injured or damaged as a result of the slides.

Please check back for updates.

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