As if an epic windstorm wasn’t enough, last week Southcentral Alaska faced days of heavy rain which prompted flooding and evacuations throughout the region, leading Gov. Parnell to declare a state disaster for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough on Saturday. While much of the flooding has begun to subside, flood warnings remain in effect for much of Southcentral, and a new high wind warning has been issued for Western Prince William Sound for Tuesday.
Talkeetna’s evacuation notice was lifted Saturday, and river levels have fallen below flood level. KTNA reports that the Talkeetna Water and Sewer department has tested the village well, and that it is free from contamination; residents on the western side of Talkeetna can drink their tap water. In East Talkeetna, however, water should continue to be boiled before consuming.
The Alaska Railroad is facing major repairs to their track about 35 miles north of Talkeetna. KTUU reports that 500 feet of the track were washed out by the flooding, and that 35 crew members are working continuously to repair “substantial” damage on the track. Freight trains will not be running between Anchorage and Fairbanks until the track is repaired.
Matanuska-Susitna valley and Anchorage:
As of Sunday afternoon, the Matanuska River had risen along the Old Glenn Highway near the Knik River Bridge at mile 9, according to the Mat-Su Borough. KTUU reports that a high tide expected this week may create dangerous flooding.
In Butte, Heritage Park and Windsong subdivisions were within risk of flooding on Sunday.
In Houston, residents told KTUU that the Little Susitna had receded, but the clean-up from the flood damage was just beginning.
A flood warning for the western Susitna Valley, including Yentna and Skwentna rivers and Lake Creek remains in effect until 10 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Flooding of low-lying buildings has been reported where Yentna and Lake Creek converge. One resident remarked that the levels were nearing those of the 1995 September flood, according to NWS.
In Anchorage, a flood advisory for small streams is in effect until 4 p.m. Monday. Water levels have continued to fall, but as of 7 a.m. Monday, Creek and Eagle River are in flood stage. Isolated showers are expected to continue through Tuesday, with a chance of rain the rest of the week.
The Kenai Peninsula flood warning, from Kenai Lake to the mouth of the Kenai River, has been extended until 10 p.m. Tuesday; extensive rain on Saturday caused the river to rise more than forecast, according to NWS.
At Cooper Landing, the Kenai River is expected to continue rising to a crest on Monday, and was at moderate flood levels as of 8 a.m.
Anchorage Daily News reports that some Cooper Landing residents were dealing with flooded basements with up to four feet of water in low-lying elevations. Moderate flooding was also reported in Anchor Point, where some roads and homes were affected. At least 14,000 residents have been directly affected by the flooding, Borough spokeswoman told the Daily News.
In a press release sent out Sunday, the Department of Environmental Conservation has warned residents of the Kenai Peninsula with wells to boil water used for cleaning or consumption, as their water may be contaminated due to flooding.
In Soldotna, Kenai River levels were at minor flood stage as of 8 a.m. Monday, according to the Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center. Kenai is facing a chance of rain for the rest of the week.
In Seward, a flood warning remains in effect until 4 p.m. Monday. Seward received over 2 inches of rain on Sunday, while 4.5 inches of rain poured on Whittier. In a press release sent out Sunday, the City of Seward reports that local tributaries are subsiding, and crews continue to work on ground repair efforts. Lois Way residents will be without power until water levels subside.
While Seward Highway is open, a travel advisory remains in effect. Exit Glacier Road, Old Mill Subdivision, and Lowell Point Road in Seward remain closed.
A high wind warning was issued for Western Prince William Sound on Monday. Whittier, Seward, Girdwood and Moose Pass, and the Anchorage neighborhood of Turnagain Arm are expected to be hit with high winds Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday evening.
Rain is expected in Seward through the rest of the week.