Stay home, Cordova officials urge during winter storm warning

Winter storm warning in effect through late Monday

Cordova Harbor. (Dec. 1, 2021) Photo by Zachary Snowdon Smith/The Cordova Times

The city of Cordova is asking residents to please stay home and avoid non-essential travel on the roads as a National Weather Service winter storm warning remains in effect through 11 p.m. Monday, Dec. 6.

Heavy snow with accumulations of 8-12 inches is predicted. Travel will be difficult with visibility reduced to less than a quarter of a mile at times.

“Intense snow rates are keeping temperatures near or below freezing,” the NWS warning states. “This will allow for snow to continue to accumulate through the evening. Rain will start to mix with snow as warm air moves in overnight, limiting further accumulations at sea level. Heavy snow will continue in the mountains through Tuesday.”

The avalanche risk along the Copper River Highway is elevated to moderate according to the Alaska Avalanche Information Center.

City officials have asked residents to stay home if possible.

“If you must travel, they are asking that you wait until road crews have had ample time to clear the roads,” city officials posted on social media Monday, Dec. 6. “Road conditions are not safe.”

“Our crews have been prepping for this all week,” said Mark Wegner of Cordova Streets Department. “We all want our citizens to be safe and able to complete their days without mishap. Please give us room and time to deal with this weather event. Please call for help and concerns. Your city employees are here for you.”

Call Wegner at 907-253-6333 to report conditions and request assistance.

Mt. Eyak Ski Area is closing for a few days while the storm blows through.

“I would like to thank everyone who helped and supported Mt Eyak during our first two weeks of operations,” ski area officials wrote adding the lift has run for three days and the rope tow for 14. “We’re looking forward to great ski season.”

Cordova Chamber of Commerce reminds residents many businesses are open and able to assist over the phone or email.

“The Chamber office/Visitor Center building will not be open during this storm, however, our staff is working from home to assist you with anything you need,” officials wrote. Call the chamber at 907-424-7260.

Freezing temperatures are more snow are predicted through the weekend, NWS reports.

Heather Brannon of Cordova Prepared shared the following safety tips for dealing with the storm:

  • Please be mindful of our plows and operators on days where there is heavy snow. Give them room to operate their equipment safely.
  • If you are walking, please stay within their line of sight and keep in mind that because you can see them doesn’t mean they can always see you. Bright colored clothing and reflective gear is very helpful.
  • Please drive only when necessary on snow days until later in the afternoon to give our crews a chance to clear the streets and be mindful of appropriate parking zone times to help them do their jobs expediently.
  • If you are driving to the airport, please keep in mind that the Department of Transportation will need time in the morning to get the roads clear safely. The less traffic the better.
  • If you are meeting a flight, check the arrival status and please give yourself time and drive to suit weather conditions.
  • If your drive out the road is not necessary, please wait until the mid-morning/afternoon to prevent any unnecessary issues.
  • Above all let’s be safe and help each other out when it comes to shoveling, car troubles, frozen pipes and general cold weather difficulties.