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Home swept away amid Copper River flooding, other homes in danger

As flooding on the Copper River continues to wreak havoc on those in the Glennallen area, a home was swept away by the currents on Monday morning.
Published: May. 30, 2022 at 5:04 PM AKDT
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GLENNALLEN, Alaska (KTUU) - As flooding on the Copper River continues to wreak havoc on those in the Glennallen area, a home was swept away by the currents on Monday morning.

Residents on the river, like Daniel Chappell, have been dealing with the erosion since around May 22, with Chappell saying six other homes are in jeopardy of being taken by the river.

Chappell said he was able to move some structures, including his own home, back a few feet, but the river has been eroding the banks by several feet a day at a rate that could mean his house might be taken by the floods in the next several days.

“It doesn’t look like the river’s going to make any changes to our advantage so we don’t know exactly what to do at this point,” Chappell said over the weekend.

Ron Nordquist, who has owned a cabin there since 1992, had to move everything out over the weekend as he prepares for the worst.

“It’s very sentimental,” Nordquist said. “We’ve been going up there. We’ve got a fish wheel and fishing on the river. We spend a great deal of our time up there in the summertime.”

Other parts of the Copper River Basin are under a flood advisory, mainly from high-volume snowmelt.

“Thirty-some years I’ve been living here and nothing like this has ever occurred so it’s just taking a little to get my mind wrapped around,” Chappell said.

Chappell says the community is running without electricity, sewage services, water or sleep, as over the last week, many have been working around the clock to try and keep people safe and at the same time save their homes.

“I need a little mental health at this point just to see if I’m thinking clearly or not but I am having trouble helping everybody else and helping myself, I can’t -- having just a hard time keeping up with it all,” Chappell said.

He went on to say, “Even suggestions are, are helpful, you know, I mean, we don’t have time to sit around, think about things and make a lot of decisions, but got to keep moving on this.”

Those who would like to help can email Daniel Chappell at akh2o@icloud.com for ways to get involved.

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