Avalanches Close Only Road Leading into Small Alaska City

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-01_453fbbd2d0.jpgAlaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (VALDEZ, Alaska) -- Avalanches have dumped 30 feet of snow and ice on an Alaska highway, closing the only road into the port city of Valdez. City officials say it will be at least a week before Richardson Highway, State Route 4, reopens. That highway connects Valdez to Fairbanks.

The state’s Department of Transportation is making progress in clearing the roadway, and barges are being used to deliver food to stranded residents.  For now, city officials say that there is plenty of gasoline and heating fuel oil.

Valdez -- the port city where the Exxon Valdez tanker departed before its 1989 spill -- has about 4,000 residents.

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