Road crews racing against time to clean up after winter storm

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - The Fairbanks area grappled today with the aftermath of a storm that dumped rain and snow across the Interior last night. Crews are working to get local roads cleaned up, because meteorologists say another change in the weather is right around the corner. Tom Hewitt has the story.
Tom Hewitt; Reporting>>: It started with rain on Tuesday evening. National Weather Service meteorologist Ed Plumb says the same storm system that closed the Alaska Highway earlier this week made its way to the central Interior.
Ed Plumb; NWS Meteorologist>>: "It brought a period of freezing rain to most areas, picked up a few hundredths of an inch of freezing rain early Tuesday evening. And then the rain ended for a bit, and then another band of snow came though. If you were in the west part of Fairbanks, on the west side of town we had 6-8 inches of snow. The airport picked up about 7.4 inches through this morning. If you were over on the east side of town, there was about 4 inches of snow, but if you went to North Pole, you didn't have any snow. So there was a pretty sharp gradient of snowfall from west to east across town."
Tom Hewitt; Reporting>>: The freezing rain and snow made local roads a mess. School openings were delayed by two hours, and state offices were closed for the day. Trees bent low onto power lines, causing outages for thousands of Interior residents as lines arced and transformers blew.
And for road crews, State Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meadow Bailey says it was all hands on deck.
Meadow Bailey; AKDOT Public Information Officer>>: "We have everybody who's available out on the roads right now, in every working piece of equipment. And we're working extended shifts right now. We usually have a night shift and a day shift, so right now we're extending those hours so that they're overlapping. We get a lot more done really in the city center at night because there's less traffic, so that is a major factor. So tonight we'll have the crews go out and do a lot of the cleanup work, so when people start to go to work tomorrow and they're driving through Fairbanks, they should see some major impovements."
Tom Hewitt; Reporting>>: Those crews are under the gun to get the roads clear in the next few days. Plumb says cold temperatures that could make the roads far harder to clean up are just around the corner.
Ed Plumb; NWS Meteorologist>>: "We'll see some more light snow Thursday night, Friday, and maybe even Saturday as the cooler air starts to trickle down into the Interior. And this air is coming from far east Russia or Siberia, so it's been very cold there, so we're going to get a little bit of their cold air. So by Saturday we should see our last above-zero high temperature here in Fairbanks, then we'll continue to fall into early next week. So by middle of next week, we could see temperatures easily 20s to 30s below here in Fairbanks."
Tom Hewitt; Reporting>>: Bailey says she's confident the roads will be in better shape by then.
Meadow Bailey; AKDOT Public Information Officer>>: "Our Kryptonite is really when you get a winter rain event followed quickly by freezing temperatures. So really our goal right now is to get as much snow off the road and ice off the road before we really get cold temperatures and it turns into concrete. So we definitely have a huge push right now and we're trying to get things cleaned up before it turns into a kind of cement-concrete-ice event."
Tom Hewitt; Reporting>>: In Fairbanks, I'm Tom Hewitt.