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Flood warnings continue on the Copper River

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Updated: Jun. 2, 2022 at 8:00 AM AKDT
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GLENNALLEN, Alaska (KTUU) - State emergency officials warn that more flooding is expected to come on the Copper River as erosion continues to eat away at the river’s edge.

Over the weekend, one resident in the area lost their home as it was swept away into the water, and nearby neighbors say they are beginning to worry about the fate of their own homes. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Bryan Fisher said that the department is expecting additional snow melt to continue, potentially creating more flooding in the area.

“The water has not receded yet,” Fisher said. “There is still a lot of snow coming down from the mountains and that water is still really high in that area.”

According to Fisher, the department has known for the past five years that the Copper River had changed its course and was hitting the basin. He said that over past several years, they have been in touch with homeowners regarding the situation. Fisher said that this year’s flooding comes as no surprise.

“This year in particular, I think we all knew back in the March time frame that just because of the snowpack all across Interior Alaska that we had a real high potential of flooding,” Fisher said.

The department continues to speak with residents regarding potential solutions to the river that continues to rise. However, the on-hand efforts needed for the situation will need to come from a local level.

“The local volunteer fire department had helped disconnect some electrical utilities and move some propane tanks as part of the effort for folks to try to move their homes back away from that rapidly eroding riverbank there,” Fisher said.

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