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Coming storm lacks punch of earlier deluges

Casey Grove
Location: Wasilla, AK, 9/21/2012 Flooding in the Three Bears parking lot on Knik Goose Bay
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Gray / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Everybody is gettin prepared, we've all seen floods down here before on Riverside Lane.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Won't be long now, the water will cover the entire walkway and front deck on the Kenai River.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 The walkways and floating docks are already surrounded by water, it'll come up another 2 feet. Now we can fish in the back yard!
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/25/12 Gas Line Trail
Photo courtesy of EC / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/25/12 Gas line Trail
Photo courtesy of EC / ADN reader submission
Location: Jims Landing , 09/22/12 only ones on the river Mike L., Scmitty, Barry W. Round 2
Photo courtesy of Michael Lujan / ADN reader submission
Location: Jims Land cooper landing , 09/22/2012 Round One Mike L. Schmitty, Barry W.
Photo courtesy of Michael Lujan / ADN reader submission
Location: Over Alexander Creek, 09/24/12 All the water that's been flooding the Yentna, the Skwentna, the Talkeetna, Willow Creek, Montana Creek and all the other valley rivers winds up in the lower Susitna, with Alexander Creek right in its path. It's a small community that has been hit hard, but hasn't received much coverage. This photo was taken on Monday, September 24 at 5pm.
Photo courtesy of Bob Thompson / ADN reader submission
Location: Butte, Alaska, 09/23/12 This sunflower still stands next to the house which also stands after flood waters entered it. You can see the high water mark just above the sunflower.
Photo courtesy of Charlie Earnshaw / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River @ Cooper Landing, 09/22/12 The Miller family road trip. Dad took this picture of Matt and I in Cooper Landing. Sad to see our happy place flooding. About 1/3 of the parking lot at the Kenai River in Cooper Landing was under water as of Saturday at 2pm.
Photo courtesy of George Miller / ADN reader submission
Location: Alexander Creek, 09/21/2012 This is the the old Black Fox lodge down at the mouth of Alexander Creek.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Conklin / ADN reader submission
Location: Alexander Creek airstrip, 09/21/2012 Gravel airstrip that is 1/4 mile from Alexander Creek.
Photo courtesy of Mike Mason / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper's Landing, 09/23/12
Photo courtesy of George Miller / ADN reader submission
Location: Alexander Creek, 09/21/2012 Flooding on ALexander Creek, Total of 8 house in water and the airstrip is flooded.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Conklin / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper's Landing, 09/23/12
Photo courtesy of George Miller / ADN reader submission
Location: Alexander Creek, 09/21/2012 Flooding on ALexander Creek, Total of 8 house's in water and the airstrip is flooded.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Conklin / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper Landing, 9/23/12 Jims Landing was closed due to major flooding that covered boat launch and parking area.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Flothe / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper Landing, 9/23/12 Quartz Creek bridge accessing Quartz Creek homesites and Crescent Creek campground is within a couple of feet of flooding over.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Flothe / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Our driveway was flooded in less than 25 minutes, the water rose faster than we've ever seen on previous floods.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Everyone is trying to beat the rising flood and get their trailers out before the water gets to deep.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Trying to find the road under the water is a real trick and not drive into the ditch.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Arctic Roadrunner, 9/21/12
Photo courtesy of Tim Melican / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/22/2012 E Main St Talkeetna
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/22/2012 Around the suburbs of Talkeetna
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/22/2012
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Just along from K2 Avaition, 09/22/2012
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Seward, Alaska, 09/23/12 The bridge across the street from the Windsong Lodge down Exit Glacier Road.
Photo courtesy of Bambi Ambacher / ADN reader submission
Location: Wasilla, 09/23/12 My brother & sister-in-laws home in ruins as a result of the flash flood off of Lucille St. & Seldon Rd. in Wasilla on Thursday.
Photo courtesy of Chris Daw / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Self / ADN reader submission
Location: Seward Hwy. near the Exit Glacier Road, 9/21/12 Bonnie Moore and Eric Somerville carry groceries and their baby down the long, flooded driveway to get to the house off the Seward Highway near the road to Exit Glacier, 9/21/12.
Photo courtesy of gail Somerville / ADN reader submission
Location: Jims Landing KENAI RIVER, 09/22/12
Photo courtesy of john anthony / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper Landing Boat Launch, 09/22/12
Photo courtesy of john anthony / ADN reader submission
Location: Deshka Landing, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Tony E / ADN reader submission
Location: Deshka Landing, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Tony E / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/22/12 Around Talkeetna yesterday
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Nenana river, near Denali Natl' Park, 09/21/12 Nenana river flooding.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Ferragi / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, Swiss Alaska Inn, 09-21-2012 Pictures are taken the morning after the water receded from East Talkeetna. Here you can fish off your front porch
Photo courtesy of Renamary Rauchenstein / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, Swiss Alaska Inn, 09-21-2012 Pictures of our home in East Talkeetna
Photo courtesy of Renamary Rauchenstein / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper Landing, 9/22/12 Flooded boat lauch and parking area at Kenai River Bridge outlet from Kenai Lake. Parking limited to 5 minutes.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Flothe / ADN reader submission
Location: around the Willow area, 9/21/12 Willow River at the Parks Highway - the Pioneer Bar & Restaurant used to be on this site, before it burned down a couple of years ago.
Photo courtesy of cammie walker / ADN reader submission
Location: around the Willow area, 9/21/12 Willow Island Resort, on (or rather in) the Willow River at the Parks Highway.
Photo courtesy of cammie walker / ADN reader submission
Location: around the Willow area, 9/21/12 The Willow River taken at the Shirleytown Bridge off of Hatcher's Pass Road, within a couple of hours of the bridge failing.
Photo courtesy of cammie walker / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 9-21-2012
Photo courtesy of Teira Bush-Shaw / ADN reader submission
Location: montana creek, 9/21.2012 Montana Creek Campground Flooded
Photo courtesy of adn / ADN reader submission
Location: Yentna River, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Theresa Dutchuk / ADN reader submission
Location: Yentna River, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Theresa Dutchuk / ADN reader submission
Location: Valdez, AK, 09/20/12 Bike path at 3 mile Richardson Highway, Valdez
Photo courtesy of Shannon Irish / ADN reader submission
Location: Anchor River, 9/21/12
Photo courtesy of Amy Mitchell / ADN reader submission
Location: Glenn Highway mile 64, 9-21-12 Building in Matanuska River
Photo courtesy of Yvonne Antill / ADN reader submission
Location: Montana Creek Campground, 9/20/12 Montana Creek Campground is totally flooded & the rain is still coming down pretty good. :(
Photo courtesy of Donna Lestenkof / ADN reader submission
Location: Trunk Road, Wasilla, 09/21/12 A vehicle drives through a flooded section of Wasilla creek on Trunk Road after heavy rainfall.
Photo courtesy of Juli Hermanns / ADN reader submission
Location: Wasilla, AK, 9/21/2012 Flooding in the Three Bears parking lot on Knik Goose Bay
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Gray / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Everybody is gettin prepared, we've all seen floods down here before on Riverside Lane.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Won't be long now, the water will cover the entire walkway and front deck on the Kenai River.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 The walkways and floating docks are already surrounded by water, it'll come up another 2 feet. Now we can fish in the back yard!
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/25/12 Gas Line Trail
Photo courtesy of EC / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/25/12 Gas line Trail
Photo courtesy of EC / ADN reader submission
Location: Jims Landing , 09/22/12 only ones on the river Mike L., Scmitty, Barry W. Round 2
Photo courtesy of Michael Lujan / ADN reader submission
Location: Jims Land cooper landing , 09/22/2012 Round One Mike L. Schmitty, Barry W.
Photo courtesy of Michael Lujan / ADN reader submission
Location: Over Alexander Creek, 09/24/12 All the water that's been flooding the Yentna, the Skwentna, the Talkeetna, Willow Creek, Montana Creek and all the other valley rivers winds up in the lower Susitna, with Alexander Creek right in its path. It's a small community that has been hit hard, but hasn't received much coverage. This photo was taken on Monday, September 24 at 5pm.
Photo courtesy of Bob Thompson / ADN reader submission
Location: Butte, Alaska, 09/23/12 This sunflower still stands next to the house which also stands after flood waters entered it. You can see the high water mark just above the sunflower.
Photo courtesy of Charlie Earnshaw / ADN reader submission
Location: Kenai River @ Cooper Landing, 09/22/12 The Miller family road trip. Dad took this picture of Matt and I in Cooper Landing. Sad to see our happy place flooding. About 1/3 of the parking lot at the Kenai River in Cooper Landing was under water as of Saturday at 2pm.
Photo courtesy of George Miller / ADN reader submission
Location: Alexander Creek, 09/21/2012 This is the the old Black Fox lodge down at the mouth of Alexander Creek.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Conklin / ADN reader submission
Location: Alexander Creek airstrip, 09/21/2012 Gravel airstrip that is 1/4 mile from Alexander Creek.
Photo courtesy of Mike Mason / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper's Landing, 09/23/12
Photo courtesy of George Miller / ADN reader submission
Location: Alexander Creek, 09/21/2012 Flooding on ALexander Creek, Total of 8 house in water and the airstrip is flooded.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Conklin / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper's Landing, 09/23/12
Photo courtesy of George Miller / ADN reader submission
Location: Alexander Creek, 09/21/2012 Flooding on ALexander Creek, Total of 8 house's in water and the airstrip is flooded.
Photo courtesy of Nancy Conklin / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper Landing, 9/23/12 Jims Landing was closed due to major flooding that covered boat launch and parking area.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Flothe / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper Landing, 9/23/12 Quartz Creek bridge accessing Quartz Creek homesites and Crescent Creek campground is within a couple of feet of flooding over.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Flothe / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Our driveway was flooded in less than 25 minutes, the water rose faster than we've ever seen on previous floods.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Everyone is trying to beat the rising flood and get their trailers out before the water gets to deep.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Soldotna, 09/23/2012 Trying to find the road under the water is a real trick and not drive into the ditch.
Photo courtesy of John Reece / ADN reader submission
Location: Arctic Roadrunner, 9/21/12
Photo courtesy of Tim Melican / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/22/2012 E Main St Talkeetna
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/22/2012 Around the suburbs of Talkeetna
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/22/2012
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Just along from K2 Avaition, 09/22/2012
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Seward, Alaska, 09/23/12 The bridge across the street from the Windsong Lodge down Exit Glacier Road.
Photo courtesy of Bambi Ambacher / ADN reader submission
Location: Wasilla, 09/23/12 My brother & sister-in-laws home in ruins as a result of the flash flood off of Lucille St. & Seldon Rd. in Wasilla on Thursday.
Photo courtesy of Chris Daw / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Self / ADN reader submission
Location: Seward Hwy. near the Exit Glacier Road, 9/21/12 Bonnie Moore and Eric Somerville carry groceries and their baby down the long, flooded driveway to get to the house off the Seward Highway near the road to Exit Glacier, 9/21/12.
Photo courtesy of gail Somerville / ADN reader submission
Location: Jims Landing KENAI RIVER, 09/22/12
Photo courtesy of john anthony / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper Landing Boat Launch, 09/22/12
Photo courtesy of john anthony / ADN reader submission
Location: Deshka Landing, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Tony E / ADN reader submission
Location: Deshka Landing, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Tony E / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 09/22/12 Around Talkeetna yesterday
Photo courtesy of Barry Neil / ADN reader submission
Location: Nenana river, near Denali Natl' Park, 09/21/12 Nenana river flooding.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Ferragi / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, Swiss Alaska Inn, 09-21-2012 Pictures are taken the morning after the water receded from East Talkeetna. Here you can fish off your front porch
Photo courtesy of Renamary Rauchenstein / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, Swiss Alaska Inn, 09-21-2012 Pictures of our home in East Talkeetna
Photo courtesy of Renamary Rauchenstein / ADN reader submission
Location: Cooper Landing, 9/22/12 Flooded boat lauch and parking area at Kenai River Bridge outlet from Kenai Lake. Parking limited to 5 minutes.
Photo courtesy of Glenn Flothe / ADN reader submission
Location: around the Willow area, 9/21/12 Willow River at the Parks Highway - the Pioneer Bar & Restaurant used to be on this site, before it burned down a couple of years ago.
Photo courtesy of cammie walker / ADN reader submission
Location: around the Willow area, 9/21/12 Willow Island Resort, on (or rather in) the Willow River at the Parks Highway.
Photo courtesy of cammie walker / ADN reader submission
Location: around the Willow area, 9/21/12 The Willow River taken at the Shirleytown Bridge off of Hatcher's Pass Road, within a couple of hours of the bridge failing.
Photo courtesy of cammie walker / ADN reader submission
Location: Talkeetna, 9-21-2012
Photo courtesy of Teira Bush-Shaw / ADN reader submission
Location: montana creek, 9/21.2012 Montana Creek Campground Flooded
Photo courtesy of adn / ADN reader submission
Location: Yentna River, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Theresa Dutchuk / ADN reader submission
Location: Yentna River, 09/21/12
Photo courtesy of Theresa Dutchuk / ADN reader submission
Location: Valdez, AK, 09/20/12 Bike path at 3 mile Richardson Highway, Valdez
Photo courtesy of Shannon Irish / ADN reader submission

Water levels are still dropping across areas of Alaska hit hard by recent flooding as yet another storm, in a well-defined spiral of clouds, headed north from the Gulf of Alaska on Wednesday.

National Weather Service meteorologists aren't expecting the "cyclonic flow" to pack as much of a punch as two other September storms that brought high wind and heavy rain to Southcentral Alaska. And while there is more rain coming, the weather service's River Forecast Center does not expect further flooding, only a prolonged period of high water.

The comma-shaped storm carried by hurricane-force winds was expected to spin out over the northern Gulf of Alaska late Wednesday and dump more rain on Prince William Sound. It is not forecast to bring comparable amounts of water and wind over the mountains into Southcentral as other recent, powerful storms, according to the weather service.

"It's going to blow but not as much as the last couple times," said forecaster Dan Peterson. "Breezy and rain."

That's welcome, if tentative, news for flood-struck areas of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and Kenai Peninsula. In the Mat-Su, the flooding damaged some 823 homes, a borough spokeswoman said. Aerial assessments showed at least 14 homes destroyed by the flooding.

In Kenai, officials say it's too early to tell how many homes have been affected. According to early estimates, about 14,000 people have had some kind of impact.

Water in the Susitna Valley, in places like Talkeetna and Willow, had receded back to normal levels but was still above flood stage along the Yentna River and on Alexander Creek and elsewhere near the mouth of the Susitna River, said hydrologist Celine Van Breukelen. It remained trapped in some places, too, she said.

"It seems to be leveling out," Van Breukelen said. "There is still definitely ponding in low-lying areas, but as far as new flooding there isn't anything."

SAFE ON THE DECK -- WITH ANIMALS

When the Yentna jumped its banks last week, it separated Ron Allen and his wife, Tina, who were married about two months earlier and recently built a cabin near the river as their new home. Allen said he left Tina behind with he couple's 17 chickens, 16 sled dogs, five goats and two geese while he went to Willow to finish moving out of their old house and get supplies.

The flooding trapped Tina Allen at the cabin, where she kept all the animals safe and close together on a deck, with the water just below the deck and cabin, which are built atop pilings.

"The cabin's fine, and she's fine, but it's been tough," Allen said. "It's stressful. Extremely stressful."

By Wednesday, the water had come down enough that Tina, still able to communicate by cellphone, could see the ground in spots, so she moved some of the animals off the deck. Tina even installed a propane heater they hadn't planned on using until it got colder, Allen said.

Allen said he'd sent food for Tina with a friend who delivered it by barge, but he said he now needed to get food sent in for the animals.

"She's been on her own, kind of perilous, but she's a tough girl, raised out in the wilderness," Allen said. "If she wasn't a strong woman and I didn't have confidence, I'd be super worried."

Farther to the south, on the Kenai River, gauges showed the flooding reached its highest point Monday in Cooper Landing. Forecasters were still waiting to see if it would top out downstream Wednesday, said Van Breukelen, the river forecaster.

FLOOD WARNINGS CONTINUE

With the next storm rolling in, there's some uncertainty about how long it will take for the water to return to normal on the Kenai, which is closed to boating until at least Friday.

"It's continuing to stay high. It's about a quarter-foot below moderate flood stage, and we're predicting that it'll slowly recede into next week," Van Breukelen said. "It'll extend the crest. Sort of elongate the process."

Flood warnings for the Kenai River from Kenai Lake westward to the river's mouth and to the south in the Seward area have been extended until 4 p.m. Sunday. Seward could see as much as 6 inches of rain by the weekend, and while streams could rise, they weren't expected to overflow their banks.

Meantime, about half of the nearly 70 hunters trapped by high water in the Denali Highway area have escaped, according to Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. One man on a four wheeler, Wasilla resident Bart Barnes, is presumed drowned after trying to cross Butte Creek with two others on Monday, Peters said.

"We advised them not to cross. I think it was the day before," Peters said. "One person made it across. One tried and lost his four wheeler and had to go back to the same side he started from."

The water carried Barnes away. He hasn't been seen since, Peters said.

Troopers had spoken to the group in their efforts to warn dozens of hunters in the area to avoid crossing the rain-bloated waterways. They also used helicopters to ferry about 10 people -- including children, an elderly man and someone with a heart condition -- out of the area, Peters said. Many others stayed behind because they didn't want to abandon their equipment or game they'd shot, she said.

Some of the local hunters were extending their trips with the help of freshly killed moose they were eating, Peters said.

"If you look at the situation, the people that are out there, they went out with gear to go hunting. They're prepared to stay in the woods," she said. "Certainly they didn't intend to stay for as long a time as they have."

Reach Casey Grove at casey.grove@adn.com or 257-4589.

Photos: Reader-submitted flood photos
Current Alaska weather warnings
Photos: Talkeetna flooding
Listen: Road inspector assesses damage near Seward
Watch: Seavey dog sled business flooded
Photos: Southcentral flooding
Watch: JBER reactions to wind damage
Watch: Talkeetna sandbagging
Focal Point: Musher undeterred by Seward flooding
By CASEY GROVE
Anchorage Daily News