• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 40s

Icy conditions freeze traffic on Valley roads

By KTVA Alaska 8:39 PM November 22, 2013

Flipped school bus sends four students to hospital; more than 65 cars, six more buses stranded on frozen roads

WASILLA – Alaska’s no stranger to cold, wet weather, but the black ice and freezing rain along the Knik Goose Bay Road (KGB) had some Wasilla residents calling Friday’s weather some of the worst they’ve ever seen.

“We’re used to the snow, and we’re used to the icy roads, but this is just a straight up ice skating rink,” said State Trooper Ryan Anderson.

Troopers dealt with more than 65 vehicles in distress across the Valley throughout Friday morning, with accidents shutting down portions of the Parks Highway. Collisions and ditch-stranded vehicles closed off portions of the KGB Road. At one time, more than 20 vehicles were stranded due to ice rink conditions on Vine Road.

“From my experience, this is kind of the worst I’ve ever seen,” Anderson said, diverting traffic along KGB road due to the closure of Vine.

The rain started falling — and freezing — just before 8 a.m., after schools had already given the go-ahead for buses to run.

“When they called school it was still clear out and not raining,” Anderson said. “The school buses started up as normal, and then [when] it did start to rain, the ice started to accumulate, and since then it’s just been … cars sliding off the road into ditches.”

Two buses had minor traffic accidents. A Palmer/Wasilla school district spokesperson said they were from other vehicles sliding into the buses. Six more buses were stranded by the icy roads; eventually students on those stranded buses were brought to nearby schools.

One wasn’t so lucky. On it’s way to Snowshoe Elementary, a bus carrying 14 students on Edlund Road, near Fariview Loop, slid off the road and flipped. A school spokesperson said medics responded to the scene and cleared all aboard to continue on to school. Later, four students and the bus driver were taken to Mat-Su Regional Hospital for minor injuries.

Despite the slick roads, it didn’t keep many from their regular routines.

“It was not like a normal day,” said Kaylee Price, a barista at the Iditacup coffee stand. She arrived at work before the rain started, and watched things go from bad to worse.

“I got her at five [a.m.], and when I got here it was fine,” she said. “I don’t know what time it was, but once it started raining you just saw everybody sliding and going in the ditch, not making it up the hill.”

State and borough road crews were out throughout the day, chipping away at the ice and sanding the roads. By late afternoon those efforts had opened up even the slickest parts of KGB Road, including the previously closed Vine.

Even with improving conditions, and most of KGB Road opened by this afternoon, Anderson said conditions remained extremely slick.

”Only go out if you have to, and if you do go out, give yourself plenty of extra time,” he cautioned. “Drive slowly and give yourself plenty of extra space around you, and just have patience, because everywhere you go, its just going to be traffic problems.”

Colder weather on the way could mean a quick freeze in the Valley, leaving Wasilla residents to contend with another ice rink on Saturday.

Latest Stories

  • News

    200 baby turtles rescued at Anchorage airport

    by Shannon Ballard on Dec 17, 18:24

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service seized more than 200 live, baby turtles that were being smuggled to China for the food and pet trade in September. As the turtles made their way through Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in September, officials discovered them packed inside boots, according to the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. As […]

  • News

    Sony cancels Christmas release of ‘The Interview’

    by CNN / AP on Dec 17, 15:59

    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama says his administration is taking the cyberattack against Sony studios seriously. He says people should “go to the movies.” Sony said Wednesday it was canceling the Dec. 25 release of “The Interview” after many theaters said they would hold off on screening the film. Threats have been made against theaters […]

  • DayBreak

    On the couch with vlogger Cory Williams, Dec. 17

    by Daybreak Staff on Dec 17, 15:04

    Video blogger Cory Williams, better known as DudeLikeHELLA, returned to the original frozen lake that made the “coolest sound ever” when he skipped rocks on it. This time, however, he was welcomed by the scariest sounds ever, he says. “I start walking out and then all of a sudden these crazy noises, like the Loch […]

  • News

    Anchorage police seek help finding 13-year-old runaway

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Dec 17, 15:03

    Anchorage police are seeking the public’s help finding a 13-year-old runaway. Kayleas Gray was last seen at her Chugach Way residence Tuesday night. She was reported missing Wednesday morning around 8 a.m., according to a statement from the Anchorage Police Department. Neither friends nor family have seen or heard from Kayleas since, police say. Kayleas is […]

  • News

    Pipeline coordinator’s office to close

    by Associated Press on Dec 17, 14:49

    The office of the federal coordinator for Alaska gas pipeline projects is shutting down. Federal coordinator Larry Persily says the office was not funded in the budget passed by Congress last week. The office was created in a 2004 law aimed at helping advance an Alaska gas pipeline project that would serve North American markets. […]

  • News

    Calendar of Heroes: Anchorage firefighters strip down for a good cause

    by Heather Hintze on Dec 17, 14:49

    Anchorage firefighters are stripping down for a good cause. The 2015 Calendar of Heroes features 12 of Anchorage’s finest dressed only in their turnout gear. The money raised will be split between two charities — the Alaska Fallen Firefighter Memorial and the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. “It’s a really great thing,” said Station 12 Capt. […]

  • News

    Togiak health clinic remains closed following recent burglary

    by Dave Bendinger / KDLG on Dec 17, 13:44

    The Togiak Health Clinic was vandalized during an apparent burglary late Monday night or early Tuesday morning, and two young men have been identified as the suspects. The only health facility for the village of 900 residents remains closed Wednesday on account of the damages to electrical and communication systems. Brett K. Pauk, 18, was […]

  • DayBreak

    Mark Begich says providing veterans care is senatorial legacy

    by Daybreak Staff on Dec 17, 13:22

    As his current run in the U.S. Senate comes to a close, Sen. Mark Begich says he’s proud of his record in the past six years, helping veterans in particular. “We did something that everyone told me we couldn’t do,” Begich said. “That is, if you are a veteran living in the smallest or largest […]