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Wintery Roads Challenge Anchorage Shoppers

Published On: Dec 15 2013 11:22:04 AM AKST   Updated On: Dec 15 2013 02:09:50 PM AKST

As several inches of snow falls in Anchorage, shoppers are still out and about.


Fresh snow makes for challenging road conditions, but the 8.5 inches of fresh powder that fell Saturday in Anchorage was is not enough to keep people from shopping. 

Robin Tunkel said he was on a mission to find a gift for his son at REI on his 10th birthday before his party Sunday.

“I wanted to make sure he gets what he wants,” Tunkel said.

Tunkel said he was happy the vehicles he brought from Florida were winterized for the snow and ice.

“It’s more the ice, especially not seeing where the ice is and all of a sudden your car is now facing a different direction than you thought it should be and just trying to get down the road,” Tunkel said.

Many others were in a similar situation.

Ellen Davis said she was trying to find a stocking stuffer for her roommate who is a bicyclist, and getting to the store wasn’t very easy.

“They’re (the roads) a little slick here and there and sometimes if there’s a little layer of snow over a layer of ice, then it can get a little squirrely,” Davis said.

The opportunities to shop for gifts during the holidays come fewer and far between for shoppers like Magdeline Kapatak, who was visiting Anchorage from Koliganek.

Kapatak was in Anchorage for the Mixed 6 volleyball tournament, but she said it was a good time for her to buy Christmas presents for her family.

“I could shop online, but yeah since I’m out here I’m trying to get as much shopping as I can before Christmas,” Kapatak said.

Kapatak said the roads here are much different than back home, and scarier.

“They were kind of scary, like there’s snow everything like blowing and our windows keep like getting foggy and stuff, yeah just scary,” Kapatak said.

Paul Vanlandingham, the Operations Superintendent for the city’s Street Maintenance Division Street Maintenance Division says road maintenance crews from the Municipality of Anchorage said they are working around the clock to make sure Anchorage drivers can get where they need to go safely.

“We have 30 graders out, 12 sanders and 13 sidewalk tractors running right now as we speak and we’ll continue until the plow out is done,” Vanlandingham said.

Vanlandingham said the job will continue until the work is complete.

“Our general practice is we will continue to go on the arterials and collectors during the snowfall and that way it keeps us ahead of that and once it stops, it’s a relatively quick clean up,” Vanlandingham said.

Vanlandingham says maintenance crews will be clearing residential areas on Sunday and they are asking everyone to keep their parked vehicles off of the streets while they are plowing.