Melting Leftovers of Record Winter Requires Extra Work

Anchorage, Alaska - Bulldozer crews are on the clock this Independence Day, trying to break down mountains of snow, which still tower over some parts of Anchorage after a winter of record snowfall.

At American Landscaping, along C st. in South Anchorage, crews "roll" the surface of their pile every day or so, scraping off a top layer of gravel, which can insulate the snow, slowing its melt.

"I don't know how high it is now, looks like about 80 feet," said Glenn Ball, owner of American Landscaping, as he looked up at what he estimated to be about 280,000 cubic yards of leftovers.

Ball made good money off the snow dump after Anchorage broke its annual snowfall record of 132.6 inches. Now that it's summer, he could use some extra space on his property for the soil and landscaping side of his business.

Cloudy skies and temperatures in the 50's mean it could be at least a few more months before the pile disappears.

"We'll be lucky if it's gone by October (or) November," he said.

Ball is paying three bulldozer operators to work on his snow pile. He's also assigned crews to pick up all the trash that's left behind. Chip bags, car parts, liquor bottles, batteries - all kinds of garbage gets mixed in with the snow that plows clear from roads and driveways each winter.

"Even though we knew that it was going to be disastrous for us in the summertime, we still wanted to see the record,"