People wanting to enter or leave Valdez only have two ways to get in or out.
ANCHORAGE – Several miles of the avalanche covering the Richardson Highway have been cleared, but the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said the majority of the stretch remains blocked.
Aerial images of the road blockage show that driving in or out of Valdez is not an option. According to Alaska State Troopers, neither is walking. Troopers said a couple of people tried to walk through the blocked-off avalanche danger zone and were arrested and charged with obstructing a highway and disorderly conduct.
But even with the only road in or out of Valdez covered in tons of snow, people are still managing to get in and out of town.
Their two options: Flight or ferry.
ADOT&PF’s motto, according to their website, is “keep Alaska moving.” They’ve rerouted the ferry system along the Alaska Marine Highway System to keep Valdez residents mobile.
Transportation officials said there was no westbound ferry service scheduled at all this week for Valdez, but the avalanche incited them to alter the ferry schedule to accommodate these needing to enter or exit Valdez. Now, ADOT&PF has three ferries scheduled to come and go from the Valdez port.
Era Alaska airlines is also ramping up service to help keep Valdez moving, which is the only commercial airline flying in our out of Valdez.
Airline officials said increased demand prompted them to add a third Valdez flight to their usual two-flight daily schedule.
Airline officials said they’re prepared to add more Valdez flights over the coming days, if the need remains. They advise the public to contact them directly to see about additional flights to Valdez.
Altered ferry schedules are now posted at alaskaferry.com.