Tanana River Ice Jam Causing Floods in Salcha Area

Dan Bross, KUAC – Fairbanks

An ice jam on the Tanana River is causing flooding in an area of Salcha. Fairbanks North Star Borough spokeswoman Sally Stuvek says water is affecting four homes so far, but several others are threatened. Stuvek says the borough is coordinating a response with Salcha Rescue.

A stretch of the Old Richardson Highway has been closed due to high water. The area of Salcha along Pile Driver Slough is prone to ice jam flooding, and Stuvek says property owners are experienced in how to handle it. There has not been an evacuation order so far, but National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb, who checked out the situation Monday morning, says there’s concern things could worsen.

Plumb says the ice on the Salcha River, which flows into the Tanana upstream of the community, is going out, and that could pile up on the ice jam. He estimates the jam to be a quarter to a half mile long.

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