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Iditarod Snow Imported for Race's Saturday Grand Opening

Image: Iditarod Snow Imported for Race's Saturday Grand Opening
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By    |   Friday, 04 Mar 2016 12:55 PM

The annual Iditarod sled dog race is having to import snow for Saturday's grand opening start, and the ceremonial first leg has been shortened to three miles instead of the traditional 11-mile route because of Alaska's the lack of snow.

Alaska Railroad delivered seven carloads of snow from Fairbanks to Anchorage, The Associated Press reported.

"It's makeup snow to kind of make it look prettier," festival executive director Jeff Barney told the AP.

Last year, race officials moved the post-ceremony starting point because of lack of snow for the second time, and they have been in contact with the railroad for the past three years about the possibility of needing imported snow, the Washington Post reported.

Alaska saw it’s fifth warmest January on record this year, with temperatures about 15 degrees above the long-term average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Iditarod’s ceremonial start brings millions of dollars to the Anchorage economy, with a University of Alaska report estimating the economic impact at $6.8 in 2003, the Alaska Dispatch News reported.

Anchorage city officials “worked very hard to try to find a way for us to go the full 11 miles to the BLM Campbell Tract,” Stan Hooley, CEO of the Iditarod Trail Committee, said in a news release. “Unfortunately, the warm temperatures persisted and it is no longer possible this year.”

With some exceptions, conditions on the rest of the roughly 1,000-mile route appear better than in recent years, Discovery News reported.

Twitter users were alarmed by Alaska’s lack of snow.


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The annual Iditarod sled dog race is having to import snow for Saturday's grand opening start, and the ceremonial first leg has been shortened to three miles instead of the traditional 11-mile route because of Alaska's the lack of snow.
iditarod, snow, imported, race, opening
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2016-55-04
Friday, 04 Mar 2016 12:55 PM
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