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Alaska Beat

Amid downpour, flood advisory issued for Anchorage creeks

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published October 5, 2012

With bouts of rain expected though Monday night, the National Weather Service issued a flood advisory for Anchorage's Chester and Ship creeks on Friday. Forecasters said they expected Chester Creek to reach the minor flood stage of 4 feet just before midnight. They expect it to then drop swiftly before the rain resumes on Saturday night and sends the levels rising again.

Ship Creek is expected to crest at 6.4 feet late Saturday, taking it a bit over minor flood stage. The area from Ingra to C Steet is particularly prone to flooding.

"Smaller creeks and low-lying areas are also likely to exceed bank full," the Weather Service warned. "Remain cautious in low-lying areas."

October's early rain continues a soggy fall that follows a winter in which several Alaska locations – including Anchorage – absorbed record snowfall.

This September saw 6.49 inches of precipitation in Anchorage, just slightly behind 1990's record total of 6.64 inches. And while that may have seemed like a deluge to some residents of Alaska's biggest city, it would have seemed sparse to other Alaskans. Valdez, for instance, set a new record with 26.15 inches of rain in September. And Cordova had more than 40 inches as storm after storm pelted the Prince William Sound region. But even that didn't faze hearty Cordovans. Back in 2006, residents saw 18 inches of rain in a single day there.

Flooding in the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula boroughs prompted Gov. Sean Parnell, after examining the flooding in a National Guard helicopter, to issue a disaster declaration on Sept. 21.

So far, October isn't any drier. By 4 p.m. Friday, 0.7 inches had fallen in the first five days of the month in Anchorage and steady rain continued.

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