Fairbanks snowstorm buries roads, drivers asked to stay home

Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 5:30 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - With the abundance of snow, plow trucks around Fairbanks are struggling to keep up, meaning road conditions have deteriorated.

“There is a ton of snow on the road, as everybody knows who has looked out their window or tried to leave their house this morning. This is a really big storm,” said Northern Region Information Officer for the Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT), Caitlin Frye.

The storm has brought record levels of snow to the Fairbanks area. Frye said they are trying hard to keep up, “We are throwing everything we have got at this storm right now.”

She said they have had all of their on-shift crews working. They have brought in off-shift crews and even called on other stations near Fairbanks that didn’t get as much snow to help. She said they are also having maintenance crews use pickup trucks with plows to try and get some of the lower priority roads around Fairbanks somewhat drivable.

Frye said that plow trucks are slow, and encouraged anyone behind them to stay behind them and not try to pass them.

“The conditions in front of the plow are not going to be as good as the conditions behind the plow, so please just take your time, have some patience, stay behind the plows if you see them out on the road,” said Frye.

She also said that if at all possible, people should stay home until the roads are cleared -- a statement that Sergeant Brian Haley with the Alaska State Troopers echoed.

However, he said there are people that need to leave, and had some tips for them to stay safe.

“If they do have to be on the roads, just remember to give yourself plenty of time. Remember, winter is obviously here in full force so make sure that you pack accordingly. Bring a shovel with you, bring warm clothes, and expect things to take extra time because they are going to, especially until DOT can get out and clear these roads for us," Haley said.

He also encouraged drivers to always drive with their lights on and to keep their cars clear of snow.

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