DOT assess earthquake damage while continuing to clear Fairbanks roads

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Last Friday's earthquake near Anchorage caused significant damage to the Southcentral area. The November 30 earthquake was felt all the way up here in the Interior, and while the effects may not have been as severe as in Southcentral, Caitlin Frye with the Alaska Department of Transportation says crews in the Northern Region wasted no time assessing potential damage.

"Several hours after the quake we were able to determine that no Northern Region infrastructure had any significant damage. After that was when Northern Region personnel started volunteering and started traveling down to the areas that were more heavily impacted by the earthquake," she said.

Frye says DOT staff is also working remotely to help get supplies to the affected areas, as well as ensure that funding is available for the repairs. Even though travel is not advised at this time, Frye suggests those travelling southbound only do so between midnight and 5 a.m. through the Glenn Highway corridor, as there is still a lot of work to be done. Frye also wants to remind people that DOT crews are working on clearing the roads here in the Interior.

"How we work during a storm is our maintenance crews are going to focus primarily on the Priority 1 roads, so those are the main highways, high speed, thoroughfares through down," she said.

However, if a lower priority road is deemed a hazard, crews will move to clear it. She says during a storm it is best to implement safe driving habits on roads that haven't been cleared. This includes leaving room between yourself and the car in front of you, reducing speeds, and not being distracted.