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Girdwood road washed out due to rain

Ruane Road washed out due to heavy rains Sunday morning.
Ruane Road washed out due to heavy rains Sunday morning.(Dave Leval)
Published: Oct. 31, 2021 at 2:39 PM AKDT|Updated: Oct. 31, 2021 at 3:02 PM AKDT
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GIRDWOOD, Alaska (KTUU) - Intense flooding has washed out one road in Girdwood and showers are threatening several others.

Girdwood Fire and Rescue Chief Michelle Weston reported via the Girdwood Fire Department Facebook Page at 8 a.m. that Ruane Road had washed out, cutting off access to the water treatment plant and waste transfer site.

The gap between sections of asphalt is as wide as the previous culvert had been that went under the road containing California Creek, Weston said Sunday. Loveland Road is also closed north of Alpine Meadows Road. The California Creek footbridge is closed and Echo Ridge Drive is closed while flooding is monitored, Weston said.

The Anchorage National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Girdwood early Sunday morning, alerting residents of the possibility of up to six inches of additional rain through Monday.

“The culvert which had California Creek (foot)bridge basically disintegrated, and so we’ve had Enstar on location,” Weston said. “There’s an exposed gas line that’s hanging there and other utility companies out to check everything and so basically the access from to the water plant and that is basically inaccessible.”

Two Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility employees were left at the water treatment plant. As Ruane Road has completely washed out, their only egress left is through a local trail system, according to Weston. Access to the transfer station for residents to dump their garbage is not available while Ruane Road is washed out.

“No trash service today obviously, and then the other thing that’s important to know is that in the industrial park is all of the road maintenance supplies, and so as our roads and culverts are all washing out around Girdwood, we don’t have access to the road materials at the moment, so we’re looking for alternative sources,” Weston said. “Echo Ridge (Drive) is closed at the moment and residents are sheltering in place because their road has disintegrated. Loveland Road is closed for repairs. Old Girdwood is open to local traffic only and then we’re watching a bunch of other roads around town where culverts are reaching capacity.”

Weston said that Echo Ridge Drive is an incredibly steep road that has degraded and is impassable due to immense erosion.

“There’s been road crews there since the middle of the night trying to fix it but it’s not safe for anybody,” Weston said.

This story has been updated to clarify that the footbridge over California Creek is closed, and to include additional information about Echo Ridge Drive. This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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