Mt. Redoubt eruption disrupts travel for Iditarod racers and volunteers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Mt. Redoubt eruption disrupts travel for Iditarod racers and volunteers

KHQ Photographer Jordan Caskey on location in Nome, AK KHQ Photographer Jordan Caskey on location in Nome, AK
Mt. Redoubt steaming pre-eruption Mt. Redoubt steaming pre-eruption
Alaska volcano activity map Alaska volcano activity map
Mt. Redoubt erupting Mt. Redoubt erupting

ANCHORAGE, Ala. - A series of explosive eruptions at Alaska's Mt. Redoubt southwest of Anchorage ended weeks of seismic suspense and has disrupted travel across the state including in the Nome area northwest of Anchorage where hundreds of volunteers from the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are stranded by air travel restrictions.

Local NBC TV station KTUU reports that the eruptions which began Sunday night have shot ash skyward with radar indicating that an ash cloud has reached at least 60,000 feet above sea level. "These events were very large, explosive eruptions of Redoubt Volcano," geophysicist John Power with the U.S. Geological Survey and Alaska Volcano Observatory said at an early morning press conference.

Power said that Alaska Volcano Observatory officials were monitoring ash fall and that they were very concerned with the issues it would pose for aircraft trying to operate in south central Alaska. Alaska Airlines canceled 19 flights in and out of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport because of the Ash on Sunday alone. Overall Alaska Air has been forced to cancel more than 45 flights because of the volcanic eruption. Since then Alaska Airlines has issued a travel advisory for people hoping to fly in or out of Anchorage and they're working to help travelers get home safely.

KHQ Photographer Jordan Caskey has been in Alaska since the beginning of the race working for a production company which promotes the Iditarod. He arrived in Nome earlier this week with plans to shoot video of the final racers as they crossed the finish line before flying home to Spokane. Unfortunately he's now among the hundreds of race volunteers stuck in Nome unable to travel because of restrictions put in place following Mt. Redoubt's eruption.

During an interview on KHQ Local News Today Caskey said, "I've found out that historically this thing could last week." That means it could be awhile for Jordan and other Iditarod volunteers before they're able to travel to Anchorage and then on to their final destinations. Putting the scale of the travel disruptions involved into perspective Caskey told KHQ that it would be similar to having an event taking place in Minnesota have an adverse effect on travel in Spokane.

While working on the Iditarod Jordan took dozens of photos of the event and his part in it. To check out some of those images and read more about his adventure check out KHQ Local News Today's on Facebook or Twitter.

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