(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) – November is Avalanche Education Awareness month and the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) wants Alaska’s drivers to be aware of avalanche zones as they travel the state’s highways this winter.
“Our goal is to improve safety for highway users by reducing avalanche hazards while minimizing avalanche related traffic delays and road closures,” said Jim Kennedy, ADOT&PF avalanche specialist. “We want Alaskans to be alert to avalanche area highway signs and stay safe when traveling.”
Avalanche areas exist across Alaska. ADOT&PF avalanche specialists monitor highway avalanche risk by tracking weather, terrain and snowpack conditions. Common conditions that increase avalanche hazards include significant amounts of new snow or rain, strong winds and rapid changes in temperature.
ADOT&PF recommends the following practices for drivers traveling in avalanche prone areas:
If a driver encounters an avalanche affecting the highway, ADOT&PF recommends:
For more information visit ADOT&PF’s Snow Avalanche Programs page.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 239 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”