By Sara Smart and Amanda Watts, CNN
An avalanche measuring between 60 to 80 feet deep and 300 to 400 feet wide has cut off nearly 100 houses in Anchorage, Alaska, according to public officials.
Officers with the Anchorage Police Department (APD) responded in the early hours of Friday to reports of an avalanche that cut off residents on Hiland Road, the department said in a statement.
“Right now we’ve got close to 100 homes that are stranded without power,” Mark Littlefield, an Anchorage municipality officer, said in a Facebook post shared by Mayor Dave Bronson. Littlefield estimated the avalanche occurred late Thursday night.
Police said they had no reports of anyone trapped in the snow and no homes were damaged in the avalanche. They urged people to stay away as the snow is extremely unstable.
“We are waiting for the avalanche assessment crew to make sure that the area is safe before we can begin any snow removal and opening of the road,” Littlefield added.
According to a post from the Anchorage Office of Emergency Management, the city’s emergency operations center has been activated to support the incident.
“Do not approach or cross any part of the avalanche,” the office warned. “Residents are asked to shelter in place away from area avalanche slide zones and await further instructions.”
“It’s all hands on deck and we’re doing everything we have to do,” Bronson said.
Police say the snow removal could take several days.
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