Mat-Su officials continue to monitor for potential flooding along Willow Creek

Published: Nov. 22, 2021 at 9:54 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Matanuska-Susitna Borough emergency crews are keeping a close eye on Willow Creek in the community of Willow. They check for any issues with flooding.

“Obviously with the cold temperatures we get concerned about ice dams and potential flooding,” said Brian Davis, fire deputy director for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. “But this time we do not have any specific problem areas that we’re concerned about.”

The same could not be said nearly two years ago. Several people were displaced in 2019 when an ice jam on Willow Creek broke and flooded a Willow subdivision.

Ice, at least two feet thick, covered a good portion of Deneki Road that lead to the Willow Creek Bridge in December of that year. An ice dam caused the problem that left many families stranded for days, mainly those on the other side of the Willow Creek Bridge, who did not have another way to escape.

The Shirley Towne Bridge remained out of commission following a 2012 flood. A new bridge opened this past June after the Mat-Su Borough Assembly approved the project back in 2020. Construction started earlier this year.

Meanwhile, some ice has made its way closer to Deneki Road like it did two years ago. Davis, however, is not worried.

“We’re watching spots where, due to the river freezing and chunks of ice, where you might get overflow or backup,” Davis said. “But at this point, there’s nothing we’ve seen that’s abnormal that we’re concerned about.”

Davis did say crews will inspect up to four key spots along Willow Creek twice a day to see if it poses any threat to families.

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