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Winter arrives on Kenai Peninsula

Posted: Sunday, November 07, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like winter here on the Central Kenai Peninsula.

Photo By M. Scott Moon
Photo By M. Scott Moon
Sarge Howell prepares to go to war Saturday morning by making a snow fort in his front yard. He said he was getting ready for his friends to come over, and expected to end up in a snowball fight before the day was over. The winter season rolled across the central Kenai Peninsula with several inches of snow. More is on the way.

With several inches of snowfall within the last 24 hours and several more forecasted for next week, the white fluffy stuff is piling up.

The wet, heavy snow dumped on the central Kenai Peninsula region Saturday caused dozens of scattered power outages, according to Homer Electric Association's spokesman Joe Gallagher.

The largest outage left about 150 homes without power in the Ciechanski Road region, according to Gallagher, while 87 homes lost power in the Strawberry Road area.

"The snow is very heavy and very wet, causing lines to sag and also trees to sag and come into contact with our lines," Gallagher said.

Crews began working to fix the problem early Saturday, according to Gallagher.

"At the end of the day, this heavy wet snow is causing lots of problems," he said.

The road crews have been out cleaning streets trying to mitigate the accumulated snowfall.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and the cities of Kenai and Soldotna were out clearing streets Saturday.

"City crews are out today and DOT has made their pass today on the side streets they're obligated to do," said Jeff Whannell, an investigator with the Kenai Police Department.

He said the department has received some complaints about poor road conditions on Beaver Loop. That road is maintained by the DOT and not by the city.

"There's a combination of streets inside the city that DOT handles," he said. So if you're wondering why one street is plowed and another is not it might be a state-maintained street, he said.

According to Whannell, if there is any accumulation whatsoever the airport crew is called to maintain the road. The city road crews are only called on if there is four inches of snow accumulated or any conditions requiring sanding.

But, the Kenai road crews have not needed to sand yet, Whannell said, because the roads has been more slush than ice.

With the rain coming on drivers might be hydroplaning on the slush, he said, "so people just need to slow down and give more distance to cars in front of them."

According to the National Weather Service, the snowfall could accumulate up to two more inches today and snow showers are forecasted for the evening continuing into Monday morning.

Brielle Schaeffer can be reached at brielle.schaeffer@peninsulaclarion.com.



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