Winter weather, ferry cancellations and road closures disrupt travel in and out of Upper Lynn Canal communities

Edna the cat makes her way through deep snow in front of a snow-covered home in Haines. (Beth Douthit)

Weather and transportation issues are creating major frustrations for two Southeast communities.

The state is taking an unusual measure to transport travelers stranded in Juneau to Haines and Skagway.

The Alaska Marine Highway System chartered with private company Allen Marine to take passengers to and from the Upper Lynn Canal communities Monday.

The move comes as the MV Matanuska, which was scheduled to make the trip this weekend, was taken out of service for repairs.

Meanwhile, Haines and Skagway residents are dealing with a major snowstorm and a fuel spill that closed the one road out of Skagway.

The Haines Borough Police Department Sunday declared a public safety emergency through 5 p.m. Monday. Police are asking residents to stay off the roads. Many borough services are closed today.

According to the Haines Avalanche Information Center, as of Sunday nearly 60 inches of snow fell in Haines in the last 8 days. That total was higher in some parts of town and more snow is in the forecast.

Meanwhile, according to the Skagway Police Department, the Klondike Highway is closed until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest.

The Skagway News is reporting a tractor trailer collision resulted in a fuel spill on the only road out of the town.