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Snow Avalanche Closes Summers Bay Road Past Landfill

Berett Wilber/KUCB

Multiple avalanches struck Summers Bay road over the weekend.

Sunday afternoon the Department of Public Safety sent out an alert warning residents to avoid driving past the landfill.

“This is the first winter in a couple of years that we’ve had a significant amount of snow,” said Acting Police Chief Jennifer Shockley. “It might seem unusual for people who haven’t been here all that long, but it is not unusual for us to have avalanches particularly out along the Summers Bay road area.”

Shockley said community members don’t need to be worried, but it’s good to be aware that avalanches or rock fall could happen year-round.

“It’s pretty easy to identify the areas where slides are most likely to occur when you’re driving down the road because you’ll see wide gullies that have been scoured clean of vegetation and are filled with loose rubble or really dirty snow that’s got a lot of soil mixed in with it,” she said.

Shockley cautions community members that the city road crew does got get to Summers Bay road, Overland drive, and the Pyramid Valley area behind Westward as frequently as the rest of town.

“People driving out there particularly in the winter should be aware that the roads conditions are not necessarily going to be anywhere as good as they are in town,” Shockley said.

As of Monday morning, the Department of Public Works had not cleared the avalanche from Summers Bay road.

Zoë Sobel reported for KUCB from 2016 until 2019. She returned to KUCB after a year living in Nepal and Malaysia as a Luce Scholar. She then returned to KUCB as a ProPublica reporter August of 2020 through August of 2021.
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