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In Snow-Weary Alaskan Towns, Sun And Smiles Emerge

Jan. 9: An Alaska National Guardsman clears a roof in Cordova.
Spc. Balinda O'Neal
Alaska National Guard Public Affairs
Jan. 9: An Alaska National Guardsman clears a roof in Cordova.

"Life is back to normal for two towns deeply buried in snow along Alaska's Prince William Sound," The Associated Press says. "The National Weather Service said Tuesday the weather is supposed to remain clear in both Valdez and Cordova this week."

"I'm seeing people smile and they don't seem so panicked," Cordova city spokesman Allen Marquette tells the wire service. According to the AP, "he said the priority — at least for him — is to move snow at the base of homes in time to make room for the next snowfall."

We've filed a few times now on the incredible winter weather (even by Alaskan standards) that the people of Cordova and Valdez have been experiencing. About 27 feet of snow has fallen so far in Valdez, and about 16 feet has blanketed Cordova.

For eight days, Alaska National Guard personnel helped the residents of Cordova to clear roofs and move snow. The Guard personnel left Monday.

Today's for the towns: "sunny, high in the mid-teens" for Valdez; "sunny, high in the teens" for Cordova. No snow is in the forecast for either place until Saturday, and it's only "a chance" that it will fall.

Meanwhile, to the west in Nome the transfer of much-needed gasoline and diesel fuel from a Russian tanker continues and appears to be going smoothly.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.