Anchorage’s “Pandemic of Snow,” Is Caving in Roofs and Frustrating Residents


Image: Anchorage residents clear snow on Monday. (Elyssa Loughlin/Alaska Public Media)

The Associated Press (AP) reports that Anchorage, Alaska is on pace to break its all-time winter record for snow, having recently broken the previous record for earliest date to exceed 100 inches of snowfall. The AP writes:

Even by Alaska standards, there’s a lot of snow this winter.

So much snow has fallen — so far, more than 8.5 feet— that roofs on commercial buildings are collapsing around Anchorage and officials are urging residents to break out their shovels to avoid a similar fate at home. Over the weekend, there was nearly 16 more inches of snowfall, pushing Alaska’s largest city past the 100-inch mark earlier than at any other time in its history.

The city is well on track to break its all-time record of 134.5 inches.

The AP says even Anchorage’s winter hardened residents are tired of the excessive snow/

“‘It’s miserable,’ said Tamera Flores, an elementary school teacher [to the AP] shoveling her driveway on Monday, as the snow pile towered over her head. ‘It’s a pandemic of snow.’”

During the 2022-2023 winter season 107.9 inches of snow fell on Anchorage. With more than 100 inches of snow already on the ground during 2023-2024’s winter season, these two years mark only the second time in recorded history that Anchorage has experienced back-to-back years of 100-plus inches of snow. The only previous period Anchorage had consecutive years of snow exceeding 100 inches were the winters of 1954-55 and 1955-56.

With more snow likely to fall before winter’s end and three businesses having already suffered structural collapses under the weight of the snow, city officials have advised residents to stay on top of roof-top snow clearing.

“The city last week issued guidance urging people to remove snow from their home roofs,” said the AP. “Since it’s so early in the season, people should think about removing the snow, especially if there are signs of structural distress.”




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