Nasty weather triggered avalanches and highway closures this week. The Klondike and Haines Highways were closed Tuesday afternoon and evening due to dangerous conditions.
The Haines Highway reopened Wednesday, but the Klondike is still shut down from Skagway to Carcross. It was originally closed Tuesday afternoon as a precaution because of avalanche risk. Then, several avalanches happened – covering roads on both sides of the border.
Jeremy Woodrow is spokesman for the Alaska Department of Transportation.
“Sure enough there was a slide that came down after we closed the highway and so it was exactly as we had expected,” Woodrow said.
George Maratos works for the Yukon Department of Highways.
“The South Klondike Highway experienced five avalanches,” Maratos said. “The most significant of the avalanches was at Kilometer 79.”
On Wednesday, both the Yukon and Alaska sides of the Klondike remained closed as crews cleared snow debris from the roadway and assessed avalanche risk. Maratos and Woodrow said the highway may reopen Thursday.
Conditions are still poor on the Haines Highway. There is a travel advisory between the Alaska/BC border and the BC/Yukon border due to blowing snow and poor visibility.