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AK Beat: Glacial burst prompts flood warning in Juneau

Alaska Dispatch News

Glacial burst prompts flood warning in Juneau: A flood warning has been issued by the National Weather Service after a glacial outburst from Suicide Basin above Mendenhall Glacier, along with heavy rain, raised the level of Mendenhall Lake and the Mendenhall River to flood or near-flood stages Tuesday. As of about 1:40 p.m. Tuesday, Mendenhall Lake was at 10.1 feet, just above moderate flooding stage, while the Mendenhall River was at 11.9 feet, above minor flood stage. “The entire system is still rising,” the NWS wrote. Residents living near Mendenhall Lake and River are advised to “stay alert and be prepared to take action,” and flooding has already been reported in garages along View Drive, the agency reported.

After spill, Murkowski asks Kerry to pressure Canadians on mining oversight: Sen. Lisa Murkowski called on Secretary of State John Kerry to push Canadian regulators for better mining oversight, reports news agency Reuters, in the wake of a tailings dam breach in British Columbia that sent more than a billion gallons of waste and wastewater into the Fraser River watershed. Murkowski’s letter singles out the Kerr-Sulphurets-Mitchell Mine, much closer to Canada’s border with Alaska, and currently the subject of a public comment period. “Thousands of Alaska Natives, commercial fisherman, and tourism industry stakeholders have legitimate concerns about potential impacts that large-scale mining in Canada could hold for them,” she wrote. But as Reuters points out, Murkowski has faulted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for it’s involvement in a high profile Alaska mine: “Murkowski has criticized federal environmental restrictions on Pebble Mine, a large copper mine project in southwestern Alaska near Bristol Bay, saying the state should decide the project's fate.”

Canada to map disputed Arctic Ocean ridge: Two Canadian icebreakers departed from Newfoundland over the weekend on a mission to map an underwater ridge in the Arctic Ocean, as part of a growing dispute over territorial claims in the region, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ridge, known as the Lomonosov Ridge, is also claimed by Russia and Denmark. The Times quoted Canada’s Environment Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, an Inuit MP from Nunavut, as saying the move is aimed at "securing our sovereignty while expanding our economic and scientific opportunities by defining Canada’s last frontier."