Wintry blast shuts down Barrow, much of North Slope

Posted: Tuesday, January 09, 2001

BARROW (AP) -- Record-setting winds and snow closed schools and offices and kept people indoors across the North Slope.

Monday's was a rare occurrence for the winter-hardy region.

The wind chill at Barrow was 61 degrees below zero at 4 p.m.

North Slope residents woke to news about a blizzard, whiteouts and wind chill warnings, along with a growing list of government and business closures.

Many employers around Barrow canceled their workday, except for essential or emergency personnel. The storm also closed schools and offices at Point Lay, Wainwright, Nuiqsut and Atqasuk. Alaska Airlines canceled its morning flight between Barrow and Anchorage, and local air-taxi carriers also shut down. Even the Post Office closed at 11 a.m.

It was much the same across the Arctic Slope to the Prudhoe Bay oil fields.

The National Weather Service said peak wind gusts of 60 mph broke the old Barrow record of 58 mph for the same date. Six inches of snow over 24 hours broke the old record of 5.4 inches.

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