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Snow pile-up shuts down schools, city departments

Buses, public safety services not affected

Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Juneau will close its schools and most city services today because of snow and the threat of freezing rain, City Manager Rod Swope said.

"The roads are going to be really treacherous," Swope said. "I don't think it is advisable for people to drive around."

Capital Transit buses and public safety services are not affected. Libraries are closed.

Swope called the closure Tuesday evening after talking to Juneau School District Superintendent Peggy Cowan and Street Superintendent Mike Scott. Swope said he couldn't remember the last time Juneau declared a snow day.

"As state and city street-plowing trucks pushed snow to the side of the roads, a lot of kids were unable to walk on the sidewalks and had to walk on the streets," Swope said.

Swope said city crews will work throughout the day, removing snow from sidewalks.

"The street superintendent would like to emphasize that parents shouldn't allow children to play on snow berms or at the end of a cul-de-sac," Swope said. "The snow trucks have heavy blades and it is hard to see the kids."

The National Weather Service is forecasting another 2 to 5 inches of snow for today.

"We might expect a change to rain by Thursday," said meteorologist Tracey Ress.

Since Sunday, the city has logged 24.2 inches of snow at Juneau International Airport and 31.7 inches on Mendenhall Loop Road.

Ress said the snow results from warm and moist fronts from the south overriding a cold area of high pressure in northwestern Canada.

"We call it overrunning snow," she said.

• I-Chun Che can be reached at ichun.che@juneauempire.com.



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