High winds and heavy rains have caused high water around Southcentral Alaska since an atmospheric "fire hose" began dumping moisture on the wind-lashed region over the weekend. Most of the region has come through it with limited damage and light flooding. But on Wednesday at 1:15 p.m., an official state of emergency was issued in the Western Prince William Sound community of Seward, due to continued high wind, heavy rains and extensive flooding.
Seward city officials have set up an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the City Council Chambers and are urging residents to limit travel and stay home if possible. High wind and rain have caused localized flooding, inundated roadways and cut power, and more severe weather is in the forecast.
Officials urge Seward residents to report flooding, power outages and other problems to the EOC at 224-4041, 224-4043 or 224-4044. For emergencies, call 911.
Areas around Seward that have reported the effects of heavy rain and flooding:
- In town: Phoenix/Chiswell, Dieckgraeff Road, Lowell Creek Waterfall, and Port Avenue
- Out of town: Salmon Creek, mile 3.5 of the Seward Highway bikepath, mile 4.5-5 of the Seward Highway, Old Mill Creek.
At 2:40 p.m., officials announced that residents of Old Mill Subdivision west of the Lost Creek (second bridge) should call the EOC at the aforementioned numbers for assistance in evacuating their homes. Evacuation is not mandatory at this time.
Travel advisories have been issued on all of Seward's roads, and the following roads have been closed altogether:
- LOWELL POINT ROAD is closed until further notice due to a landslide. Crews are working on clearing the road.
- EXIT GLACIER ROAD (at the mile 7 gate) is closed by the Park Service.
- Portions of the DIECKGRAEFF ROAD are also closed.
- PORT ROAD is closed