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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — State crews will reassess avalanche danger on the road to Hatcher Pass in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Two avalanches closed the road Monday morning. KTUU reports the road remained closed Tuesday.

Alaska Department of Transportation crews planned to trigger small avalanches with explosions to reduce the risk of an unexpected slide.

Spokeswoman Shannon McCarthy says crews can’t use typical avalanche mitigation, a howitzer, because Hatcher Pass is too narrow.

Instead crews use the DaisyBell system. On a line 16 to 32 feet (5 or 10 meters) below a helicopter, the device explodes a mix of hydrogen and oxygen to trigger an avalanche.

Once the road is safe, clearing of avalanche debris is expected to take only a few hours.

The avalanches left at least seven people stranded at Hatcher Pass Lodge.


Information from: KTUU-TV,