PALMER — Rain-swollen rivers in Mat-Su closed roads and flooded numerous homes Tuesday.
High water from the Little Susitna River was flooding 20 properties in the Parks Highway city of Houston as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Christian Hartley, chief of the city’s fire department. Floodwaters limited road access to about 40 homes.
The city’s mayor issued an emergency declaration to request state assistance.
Houston will need help with significant repairs to flood-eroded roads like No Name Hill Drive, which provides access to a large subdivision and is about “25% gone at this point,” Hartley said. He urged drivers to stay off water-covered roads to prevent further damage and erosion.
“This is much higher than normal,” he said of the Little Susitna. No residents had called for assistance by Tuesday afternoon, though some were moving belongings out of harm’s way.
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough had announced six road closures and several road blocks by 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Four to 6 inches of rain fell in the Talkeetna Mountains between Sunday evening and Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Willow Creek, Moose Creek and the Little Su — all of which originate in the Talkeetnas — rose above minor flood stage by Tuesday morning.
Another half-inch to an inch of rain was possible through Tuesday night, according to a flood advisory in place through Wednesday morning.
In Houston, Maid Marian Drive was closed until further notice, borough officials said. Roads initially reported as closed or with water over them included West Schrock Road, Sitze Road, Moose Meadows Road and Shorty Drive near the Little Susitna River and numerous roads near Willow Creek including North Burrow Street and West River Aire Drive.
Later Tuesday, the borough reported that Schrock Road had been reopened at Sunrise Road to one lane of traffic. That also opened up Sitze Road to residents, the borough said. The borough’s website also listed West Little John Drive and West Wilderness Court as closed by 6 p.m. Tuesday.
As of noon Tuesday, water levels on the Little Susitna River and Willow Creek were still rising slowly at the Parks Highway and expected to crest Tuesday afternoon into the evening, with additional areas of minor flooding possible.
The Kashwitna, Talkeetna and Susitna rivers rose to near bankfull conditions but crested or began receding with no flooding expected along those rivers.