City official eyes snow above Mount Juneau

Posted: Sunday, March 23, 2008

JUNEAU - City Manager Rod Swope said Saturday that a cornice of snow has been building on Mount Juneau.

Cornices are usually formed by wind and can break off, potentially causing an avalanche below. The cornice Swope is concerned about is located above the White Subdivision near downtown Juneau. Parts of the neighborhood are known to be located in an avalanche path.

Swope said he has no authority or expertise to suggest that people should evacuate their homes.

"It's information only," he said. "(Residents) have to draw their own conclusions."

While the city hired an avalanche forecaster last winter season, elected officials chose not to fund the service this season. After that decision, Swope said he would share information with the public about snowpack and any potential avalanche danger as it became available to him.

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