This map shows the Behrends Avenue Avalanche Path. City and Borough of Juneau recommends residents who live within the path evacuate their residences due to increasing risk of avalanche danger. Centennial Hall will open as an emergency shelter at 8 p.m. (Courtesy Image / CBJ)

This map shows the Behrends Avenue Avalanche Path. City and Borough of Juneau recommends residents who live within the path evacuate their residences due to increasing risk of avalanche danger. Centennial Hall will open as an emergency shelter at 8 p.m. (Courtesy Image / CBJ)

City recommends evacuation for downtown Juneau neighborhood

Centennial Hall to open as evacuation center.

This is a developing story.

Residents of a Juneau neighborhood in the path of a potential avalanche should evacuate, City and Borough of Juneau announced.

The recommendation applies to people who live in the Behrends Avenue Avalanche Path, a neighborhood above the Breakwater Inn, between Glacier Highway, Behrends Avenue and Ross Way and adjacent to Highland Drive, the city said in a news release.

Centennial Hall will open as an evacuation center at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27, for people living in avalanche zones, according to the city. The evacuation center is not limited solely to residents in the identified avalanche path, said Emergency Program Manager Tom Mattice in a phone interview. CBJ avalanche path maps can be found online at https://juneau.org/emergency/avalanche-resources.

[Juneau area at high risk for ‘historic’ avalanches]

The center, which will be opened by the city with assistance from the American Red Cross of Alaska, will be open into tomorrow morning, and COVID-19 mitigation measures will be in place.

Avalanche danger levels are expected to subside by Sunday afternoon, according to the city. However, CBJ will continue to monitor the situation and share information as necessary.

The American Red Cross of Alaska announced that in addition to congregate sheltering in Centennial Hall, there will be a warming shelter and pre-disaster housing at the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. People taking shelter should pack two nights worth of personal belongings, according to the Red Cross. People taking shelter may be stuck downtown, and the Red Cross advises being ready with prescriptions and chargers.

In a social media post, Juneau Animal Rescue said it would offer emergency boarding for free to families who need a place to shelter their pets until the avalanche danger has passed. People in need of emergency boarding should call (907)789-6997. Animals must be up to date on their vaccinations, according to JAR. For dogs, that means Rabies, DHPP and bordatella vaccines. For cats, that means rabies and FVRCP. Animals that are not current on their vaccinations will be vaccinated upon intake, according to JAR.

The recommendation for evacuation is because of potential for historic avalanches, if the Behrends Avenue Avalanche Path releases at full width at the depth of snow instabilities, according to the city. The danger is expected to increase throughout the day as an ongoing storm transitions from snow to rain.

A detailed description of avalanche danger can be found online at https://juneau.org/emergency/current-advisory.

• Contact Ben Hohenstatt at (907)308-4895 or bhohenstatt@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

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