However, because of the heavy snow load, warming temperatures and lots of rain, the city and borough decided that they should do avalanche abatement, which means that they fire a howitzer across Gastineau Channel from above Sandy Beach (about a half mile from our house) to the mountain above Thane Road on the mainland. This sounds exactly like you would imagine a giant cannon would sound. Loud enough to shake the house, rattle the windows and scare the neighborhood dogs to bits. Our poor little Beans was cowering under the woodstove when I got home. I fished her out and sat on the couch with her on my lap. She panted nervously and trembled with every loud boom. Frida didn't seem too troubled by the noise, and was mostly upset that Beans had usurped HER usual position on my lap, so she draped herself around my shoulders.
The avalanche was filmed by a local woman from the parking lot of the downtown swimming pool. The avalanche zone is the site of a huge avalanche that occurred many years ago that created a snow cloud so immense that the people in Douglas thought that Juneau had been obliterated. The event yesterday, while impressive, was much smaller and no damage occurred, although the snow stopped just 50 feet from a house and damaged a car that was parked on a neighborhood street.
It was a close call, however, and a reminder of the awesome power of nature.
The avalanche made the national news, and I received a concerned phone call from my mother in law, who saw it on TV.
Here is the video of the avalanche.
It was a rather exciting day, for our town, and for our local dogs!