This is an amalgamation of video clips from the Dalton Highway between the Brooks Range and Prudhoe Bay. You’ll see the Trans-Alaska pipeline and a glimpse of Pump 2. It’s not in perfect order, as road aficionados and time clock watchers will notice. I’m new to video editing and sometimes you just have to accept a less than perfect product, to Jack’s chagrin.
The last I heard from Jack he was still waiting to be offloaded. There are a few freight trucks showing up to wait for a chance to get through, but no fuel trucks will be allowed. Those will still be offloaded about 23 miles from Prudhoe.
The below photos are the last of what Jack took before the road closure, on the 1st and 2nd of April. It’s far from the worst of it. For the deepest water Jack experienced, click on “On a slow truck to Prudhoe” on the right.
Jack was able to call and he is fine. The road is closed with no sign of being open soon. He is there with 4 or 5 other trucks waiting to get offloaded to a tractor-type vehicle with tracks. Jack described it like an International Harvester with triangle tracks. Several of them are running back and forth to Prudhoe, skirting the flooded area.
I was worried that there were more trucks all having to idle because it’s so cold but that’s not a concern. There are only a few trucks and some of them have generators so they don’t have to idle for cab heat. And someone brought them food and water some time ago. He’s not having fun, but he’s not too miserable either. It’s just a waiting game until he can get offloaded and head back (and then probably head right back up again).
Coldfoot was really busy when Jack went through on Thursday; no one else is being told to head up to Prudhoe except some fuel trucks. And no one is waiting on the Prudhoe side. They’ve all been told to go back. Many have been flown out and since resources are so short they are probably running essential personnel only.
Jack is a bit mad at himself for not leaving town more prepared. He had 3 gallons of water and some food which is almost gone. But no extra clothes and all kinds of other stuff it’d be nice to have like a laptop to watch movies on to help pass the time. He says the people who are handling this mess are working on putting systems in place to make everything more stream-lined, but at present it’s still a work in progress. This might be the new normal for a while. Everyone saw the water getting higher and higher and no one could do anything about it, like watching a slow motion disaster.
The below photos are from about 10 days ago when the road was still passable, but barely. The best way to view them is to click on the first one and scroll through.
Check out how deep the water is that’s coming from the Sag River and flooding the Dalton. Each truck is basically a slow moving island unto itself and if one were to break down, well, just don’t think about that. This was taken before the days-long closure of the road, a little over a week ago. The governor has declared a state disaster.
Here’s another video showing water from the Sag River flowing over the Dalton.
And this one shows how the splashing of water has created ice ridges on either side of a flowing area. Trucks drive over the water and it sprays up and freezes on either side, so now there is a huge dip in the road. The bottom of the dip is the actual road. Some people were saying the road has washed out but Jack says no, it’s ice ridges building up and making it looking like a portion of the road has washed out.
(Don’t forget, YouTube automatically picks a low resolution so if you want a clearer picture click on the lower right hand side icon called “settings” and pick a higher number.)