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Matanuska River flooding near Butte prompts some residents to evacuate

Tegan Hanlon

Rising water from the Matanuska River began to seep into the yards of some homes in the Butte area Monday evening, prompting voluntary evacuations, according to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Flooding was affecting property between Mile 13 and 15 of the Old Glenn Highway -- an eroded area prone to high water, said Dennis Brodigan, director of the borough’s emergency services.

"The amazing thing is six years ago the river was 200 to 300 yards from their houses and now it’s eating into their property,” Brodigan said. 

Eddie Zingone, a lead forecaster with the National Weather Service, said a mix of warmer weather, a melting snowpack and weekend rainfall triggered the river's surge.

The weather service forecast called for river levels to recede overnight near Butte and spike again Tuesday afternoon, nearing flooding levels.

“They’re pretty used to this now," Brodigan said. "It’s unfortunately becoming all too frequent.”  

The Red Cross opened a shelter in Palmer Monday night at 831 S. Chugach St. for evacuated residents and their pets.