A giant avalanche has buried a town behind a 40 foot wall of snow

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Oh, and did we mention it's covering the only road out of town? And that the snow has dammed up the river behind it, creating a giant lake?

The series of avalanches first began along Richardson Highway on Friday morning, trapping the 4,000-person town of Valdez, Alaska behind a 40-foot wall of snow covering over 1,500 feet of the roadway. The problem isn't just the snow, though, it's also the lake that has filled in behind it with water from the Lowe river, which means that officials have to wait until the water has receded to clear the snow, and they can't say for certain when that will be.

In a sign that Valdez would definitely be a good place to wait out any impending Apocalypses, residents are primarily concerned at the moment with whether the avalanches will interrupt their preferred form of recreation, heli-skiing (yep, just like it sounds, folks). They also note that, in the meantime, supplies can still make it into town by air or by water.


The avalanches come as Alaska is in the middle of a record heatwave, the area around Valdez and the Lowe river (which is typically frozen at this time of Winter) included. Before the avalanches, they had been experiencing both unusually warm weather and heavy rains.