Kodiak Daily Mirror - Winter s first blow up to 8 inches of snow
Winter’s first blow: up to 8 inches of snow
by Nicole Klauss/nklauss@kodiakdailymirror.com
Nov 20, 2012 | 247 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The fishing vessel Dawn is seen at Oscar's Dock Monday evening, Nov. 19, 2012 as Kodiak's freshly snow-covered Pillar Mountain is seen at background.
(James Brooks photo)
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Kodiak's first major snowstorm blew in on Sunday night and left up to 8 inches of snow on Kodiak’s streets.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning from 9 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday. According to the National Weather Service in Kodiak, areas around Kodiak received between 3 and 8 inches of snow during that time frame.

"Spotter reports from around town have been 6 to 8 inches,” said Craig Eckert, station manager for the National Weather Service in Kodiak. "It was about how we expected it."

Eckert said Bells Flats and Coast Guard Base Kodiak saw closer to 3 inches, while the city and Monashka Bay areas saw deeper accumulations.

The Kodiak Police Department issued a warning via Nixle on Sunday around 5 p.m. to discourage people from traveling outside, and caution them of reduced visibility and high winds.

"That's when the snow really rolled in, and it never really let up," Eckert said.

On Sunday night northwest winds blew steady at around 38 mph. The peak winds occurred Monday morning at 41 mph.

This storm is similar to the first major snowstorm Kodiak experienced last winter. On Nov. 15, 2011, Kodiak saw around three inches of snow.

"From the daily summary it looks very much like today," Eckert said. "It's pretty close."

From what he could see on satellite imagery, Eckert expects some snow late this afternoon or tonight, although he doesn’t expect as much.

Students were able to make it to school on Monday, as there were no major accidents that caused delays on the road.

"So far everything on the road system seems fine," said Jerry Clark, Kodiak manager of First Student, the island’s bus contractor. "We had a couple of routes running five to seven minutes late, but most ran on time."

Kodiak police chief T.C. Kamai said there were a few small accidents as a result of the snow.

"We've had a couple of minor accidents," Kamai said. "A couple vehicles lost traction and a couple have been stuck, but fortunately nothing too serious."

Kamai said traffic inside city limits was flowing regularly on Monday morning.

"I think most folks were aware it was coming and took the proper precautions," Kamai said. "People are being real cautious in their driving behavior."

Alaska State Troopers said no accidents from the storm had been reported outside of city limits as of Monday afternoon, but a few vehicles had run into ditches.

Business was busy for Murray Zimmer of Rhino Towing.

"It's been the same as any other winter, just getting people out of ditches and driveways," Zimmer said.

The city's public works department had graders on the road at 3 a.m. Monday, and snow haulers on the road by 4 a.m.

"Naturally the first snowfall takes a little bit to get the bugs ironed out," city public works director Mark Kozak said. "We had some breakdowns this morning and some minor things that took time to get pieces on the road. It's always nice to have a snow where you don't have to haul the first time, but that isn't what happened here."

Public works was still working on hauling snow from the downtown area on Monday afternoon.

Kozak estimates it could be a few days before the snow is all hauled out.

"We're struggling because we'd really like to haul Mill Bay Road (Tuesday), but it's trash day," Kozak said. "That really conflicts with the lots. It's going to be multiple days before we get things all cleaned up."

Contact Mirror writer Nicole Klauss at nklauss@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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