Beaver dam gives out, briefly floods portion of Sterling Highway

Alaska's News Source Anchor Rebecca Palsha brings you the FastCast daily digital headlines for May 12, 2022.
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 9:24 AM AKDT|Updated: May. 12, 2022 at 4:28 PM AKDT
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COOPER LANDING, Alaska (KTUU) - A surge of water spilled over the banks of Fuller Creek early Thursday morning and onto the Sterling Highway around mile 57, according to the Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

The flooding resulted in one to two inches of water on the highway near the Fuller Creek trailhead, a popular hiking spot on the Kenai Peninsula, and forced the road to shut down temporarily. Department spokesperson Jill Reese said that traffic is now flowing normally along the Sterling Highway. Flaggers are still along the highway working a construction job, Reese said.

“Forestry discovered it was a beaver dam that gave out in Fuller Lake that was the culprit,” Reese wrote in an email. “The second stream has now stopped flowing and all water is again flowing under the road through its culvert.”

Earlier Thursday morning, the Sterling Highway was down to one-lane flagging operations at of 9 a.m.

Reese said the water rushed down and split into two main channels — one going under the highway in an already-existing culvert, and another going over the pavement in several different places. Reese said crews rerouted the water to help drain it off the road surface, and cleared debris that came with it.

Reese also advised motorists to drive carefully in that area, as previous construction projects unrelated to the flooding are still underway.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information.

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