Massive avalanches have closed the Richardson Highway, the only road access to Valdez, from milepost 12-42. ADOT&PF maintenance crews successfully stabilized some sections of the highway over the weekend. Crews have begun removing debris from the milepost 39.5 slide. Other sections of the highway still remain far too unstable and unsafe to access. A large slide in Keystone Canyon that crossed the Lowe River has formed a dam which caused flooding in valley upstream. Some estimate the flooding to be 60ft deep. Some water is receding through an old railway tunnel but not enough to allow crews to begin removing the slide debris. ADOT&PF is working on rerouting ferry service to Valdez. An additional two direct Whittier to Valdez sailings will be added, for a total of three direct Whittier to Valdez sailings this week. An updated schedule will be available at FerryAlaska.com later today. The avalanche activity began on Friday, Jan. 24, at approximately 6:30 a.m. Multiple avalanches crossed the Richardson Highway in the Thompson Pass region. ADOT&PF closed the highway from milepost 12-64 through the weekend. The avalanches occurred naturally after the department made several attempts to mitigate avalanche risk up to 10 days prior to the closure. The video (courtesy: Vertical Solutions) taken yesterday shows the size of the avalanche and flooding in Keystone Canyon and the Lowe River. There have been no reports of any injuries.