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Alaska News

Watch: Matanuska River threatens couple’s home near Sutton

  • Author: Bill Roth
  • Updated: July 7, 2017
  • Published July 6, 2017

Ed, 94, and Val Musial, 90, still occupy the home they began building in 1959 on a 6.56-acre homestead land patent that Ed acquired in 1952 at Mile 64.5 of the Glenn Highway north of Sutton.

But the Matanuska River was threatening to wash away their home on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, a day after the "Johnson's Homestead Cabin," built in the 1940s, was swallowed up by the river.

"There was nothing wrong with the river until they put in seven gravel finger dikes in 1986 that backed up the river," Ed Musial said.

Over the years, those dikes eventually broke and ate away about 2.5 acres of the Musials' land, which once had trees and spawning salmon.

"They moved their river on my land," Val Musial said.

The couple hopes to remain on their land for the rest of their lives — whether it's in this home, or a trailer.