Update (Feb. 21, 10:15 a.m.) — Ryan Cunningham, KTOO
State transportation officials reopened Thane Road to regular traffic Friday morning. A Facebook post from the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities cautioned that the avalanche hazard remains high.
Update (Feb. 20, 5:40 p.m.) — Jeremy Hsieh, KTOO
State transportation officials closed Thane Road to non-emergency traffic at 5 p.m. Thursday “due to extremely high avalanche hazard.” The risk is expected to remain high overnight.
The state plans to update the road’s status at 8 a.m. Friday. Updates will be posted to the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Facebook page.
Tom Mattice, avalanche forecaster for the City and Borough of Juneau, said Thursday evening he knew of three small urban avalanches that all occurred Thursday. No damage was reported. He said avalanche risk remains high.
Mattice said one avalanche was down the Chop Gully path near the Flume Trail, one was down the Behrends Avenue path and one along Thane Road.
Maps of Juneau’s urban avalanche paths are available on the city’s website.
The City and Borough of Juneau’s avalanche forecaster said the urban avalanche risk rose to high levels Thursday.
Significant rain and snow, warmer temperatures and high winds are contributing to risk of avalanches off Mount Juneau.
City Emergency Programs Manager Tom Mattice regularly posts urban avalanche advisories on the city’s website with details and resources. In Thursday’s advisory, Mattice advised avoiding the area above the gates in the Behrends neighborhood and the Flume Trail.
Thane Road is also prone to avalanches from Mount Roberts. State transportation officials put out an alert about increasing risk there this afternoon. They advised not stopping or parking in the avalanche danger zone.
Thane residents should be prepared for extended road closures.
This story has been updated.
Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect that one of the small avalanches mentioned by avalanche forecaster Tom Mattice stopped short of the Flume Trail, but did not cross over it.