Fairbanks hit by wave of snow, freezing rain
A major snow dump throughout the Fairbanks area Wednesday morning bogged down local roads, slowing the morning commute as road crews worked to dig the city out.
The tough conditions follow an overnight weather front that left 4 to 7 inches of snow across much of the Interior.
The University of Alaska Fairbanks reported 6.5 inches of snow as of 5 a.m., which quickly changed to freezing rain as temperatures warmed to the low 30s. A National Weather Service employee said 7.8 inches fell about 3 miles north of the university.
The area was under a winter weather advisory which was cancelled just before 10 a.m.
The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District delayed the start of classes by two hours in response, and state offices in Fairbanks had their openings delayed until 1 p.m.
Yumi McCullough, a spokeswoman for the Fairbanks Police Department, said residential areas remained “a little tricky” Wednesday morning. Police had responded to one collision and one vehicle in distress since midnight, which she credited to the late school opening as well as the City of Fairbanks delaying non-essential employees shifts until 11 a.m.
Meadow Bailey, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said most main roads in Fairbanks had been cleared, but smaller arterial streets were still slick and snowy. Those conditions also affected the Richardson Highway north of Glennallen, as well as the Parks.
“Overnight, we were advising people not to travel on the Parks Highway – we just couldn’t keep up with the amount of snow and rain following that,” Bailey said.
Melissa Frey contributed information to this story.
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