Flood Warning: Taku River water levels drop slightly
Following rapid snowmelt and a glacier outburst, the Taku River is expected to reach record levels
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Warm weather across Southeast Alaska is causing rapid snowmelt, pushing water into rivers and streams that are now running high. In addition to the snowmelt, there has also been a glacier outburst on the Taku River near Juneau, causing the river to overflow its banks.
June 30 — 9:33 p.m.
Water levels drop slightly on the Taku River, but flood warning remains
Warm weather woes continue in Southeast Alaska. The level of the Taku River near Juneau, which is currently in a major flood status, has come down a bit.
The Taku crested at 45.98 feet on Wednesday afternoon, well above the previous record of 45.07 feet 17 years ago. As of 9 p.m. the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center river gauge shows water levels edging down with a reading of 45.02 feet.
However, the river level remains above the threshold for a flood stage and a flood warning will stay in place.
June 30 — 12:59 p.m.
Record water levels reached on the Taku River, homes flooding
The Taku River is up to 45.43 feet as of the 9 a.m. update from the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center. Just before 7 a.m. the river rose above the 2004 record of 45.07 feet and is now in “major flood” status. A flood warning remains in effect for the area, but river forecasters are expecting the river to drop below flood stage by late Wednesday night.
Melissa Frey was able to speak to one homeowner along the river by text as the water was rising. Carlene Conway and her husband Dave have a recreational property along the river where they’ve been coming for 30 years. She said their home is 8 feet off the ground and is already surrounded by water. They are seeing 60-to 80-foot trees going by regularly.
“We are of course very worried,” Conway said. “But have been through many floods and will do fine this time as well.”
They expect damage to the property and equipment.
June 29 — 6:43 p.m.
Flood Warning: Taku River overflows its banks with more flooding likely
As of Tuesday afternoon, the river reached 43.59 feet, according to the Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center. That is already above the minor flood stage and the river is still climbing. It is expected to climb to more than 46 feet by late Thursday, which would be more than a foot above the highest crest on record of 45.07 feet in June of 2004.
The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for the area through Sunday afternoon. People who live in the area should stay alert and be prepared to take action, the flood warning states. According to the warning, the uncertainty of the initial glacial lake volume can result in varying river height forecasts and timing.
Local emergency management officials reported ice, debris, and foam on the river flowing downstream Tuesday and local residents are reporting flooding has already begun.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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