Update (Thursday, 2:40 p.m.) — Adelyn Baxter, KTOO
Alaska DOT reopened Thane Road Thursday afternoon to local traffic only. Personnel are continuing to monitor the avalanche zone.
Starting at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, DOT will put up road closure barricades on Thane Road. Only emergency traffic will be allowed through.
Local officials warn that deep snow and strong winds at higher elevations will produce multiple avalanches Thursday.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities closed Thane Road shortly after 10 a.m. after an avalanche crossed the road. The agency has not said when it plans to reopen the road.
DOT had planned to do avalanche control along a portion of the road this morning, but canceled it due to high winds.
Juneau Emergency Programs Manager Tom Mattice said he’s more concerned about Mount Juneau, which has seen heavy snowfall lately and few avalanches.
He said winds are expected to increase on Mount Juneau as the day goes on, which could produce a large avalanche in the area above downtown.
“People who live in the White subdivision and Behrends subdivision should use increased diligence, perhaps not spending as much time at home,” Mattice said. “We’re seeing multiple avalanches around the community, and there’s the potential for avalanches on those paths to be quite large (Thursday).”
Mattice suggests that people avoid the Flume Trail for the time being as well.
The National Weather Service forecasts clear skies and wind gusts of up to 55 mph Thursday.