All lanes of the Seward Highway at the Girdwood turnoff reopened about 1 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, according to an alert from the Anchorage Police Department. The lanes were shut down due to extreme winter driving conditions Wednesday morning. 

In a community alert, police said the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities had shut down the highway until further notice due to extreme weather conditions, low visibility and slick roads.

Additionally, according to a post from the Girdwood Fire Department about 4 a.m., at least two people had been taken to local hospitals. It's unclear whether the people were taken there for something related or unrelated to the road conditions, but "some roads not accessible to emergency vehicle due to parked vehicles blocking access which is a violation of state law and municipal code," the post read. 


In its alert, APD offered some tips for drivers to remember when out on the roads:

  • Turn on your headlights and use your turn signals. Help other drivers to see you.
  • Make sure all of your exterior lights are in working order.
  • Clear all of the snow off of your car so you can see out and you’re not blinding other drivers by having the snow blow off your car and onto theirs.
  • After you’ve stopped at a red light, and it cycles to green, do not go before looking both ways and making sure no one is running the light.
  • Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front of yours to give you extra stopping room.
  • Keep emergency gear in your car such as warm clothing, a shovel, jumper cables, flashlight, etc.
  • Give yourself extra time to arrive at your destination. If you’re late – you’re late. Don’t chance driving too fast for road conditions which can lead to collisions. And then you’ll really be late.
  • When you come to a stop behind another vehicle, do not pull all the way up on their bumper. Leave room to maneuver in case the car coming in behind yours needs extra stopping space.
  • When you’re driving, look not only at the car directly in front of yours, but three to four cars ahead. The sooner you’re aware of a problem on the roadway, the more time you have to react and either stop or move.
  • Keep a phone charger in your car so a dead cell phone battery does not prevent you for calling for help in the event you should need too.
  • Be aware of pedestrians. They will be taking it extra slow as the sidewalks are just as slick.

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