Winter Joys for Some, Winter Woes for Others
Cold snap with no snow has pluses and minuses
ANCHORAGE - Juneau resident Mike Sigler usually brings his skis to Anchorage when traveling for work.
Not this time.
"I love coming to Anchorage, you have great trails here, but there's not much snow. I usually go skate-skiing so this time I brought my ice skates,” said Sigler, while putting on his skates at Westchester Lagoon during his lunch break Wednesday.
“Get out in the sun... it's a beautiful day, get a dose of light,” said Sigler.
Other Anchorage residents aren’t too impressed with the sub-zero temperatures.
But it's not just people struggling.
“We're seeing a lot of dead batteries -- the cold weather of course takes a toll on a battery,” said Bruce Farr at Senior Automotive.
Farr said regular maintenance is the key to keep a car running through harsh conditions.
“The oil gets thick when it's cold so the engine definitely cranks slower and that can cause problems in terms of the engine flooding and not starting,” said Farr.
Farr also recommends a block heater and battery blanket to get your vehicle moving faster and more efficiently.
The chilly temperatures are also causing problems for fire hydrants -- at least four went out of service after freezing up and breaking over the weekend.
“This could be a bad year if we don't get snow soon, and that might not be enough to stop it,” said Mike Pawlowski, a journeyman utilityman with the Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility (AWWU).
Pawlowski said in a previous year with little snow there were 150 hydrants that froze up and broke, and couldn't be repaired until spring.
AWWU workers are constantly checking the 7,000 hydrants across Anchorage and Eagle River to make sure they aren't frozen.
“And that insures that when the fire department comes they can also operate the hydrant,” said Pawlowski.