Kenai Peninsula Waters Remain At Flood Stage

The information below is from an interview with David Streubel, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service.

The Little Susitna River crested overnight.  Water levels are still above flood stage but are going down today and tomorrow, although it will take time for those waters to recede.

The Matunuska River went up significantly Friday and caused a lot of over bank flooding. It’s going down, but it will take a while. Some rain is still expected today but it shouldn’t make the river rise any higher although it will slow the rate of fall.

The Talkeetna River and Willow Creek crested Friday evening, and will go down fairly quickly today. Both will remain above flood stage for the rest of the day but are dropping. The river was four feet above flood stage so it will take a couple of days to go down below flood stage levels. The Talkeetna river reached 16.9 feet, which was about half a foot from the all time record level.  As of 5 a.m. this morning the level had dropped to 12.5 feet.

Seward is getting moderate rain that will at times be heavy. The Resurrection River is at minor flood stage and will keep climbing for the next six hours, reaching moderate flood stage. Glacier and Salmon Creeks will be going up during the day today, however the extent of flooding is unlikely to get to where it was earlier in the week.

The Kenai River is expected to continue to rise today and into Sunday. Kenai Lake is above flood stage already. The lower river will get to minor flood stage by later Sunday afternoon, to evening hours.

Minor flooding around Kenai Lake has caused lowland areas, some roads and some forest service campgrounds have standing water. Kenai Lake could be a couple of feet above minor flood stage when it crests.

Down-river, below Skilak Lake and the Soldotna area, NWS expects minor flooding of low laying areas to begin on Sunday.

Conditions could change depending on the current storm and how much rain does spill over into the Kenai basin. Some uncertainty remains about how high the lower Kenai River will get.

The current storm affecting Seward is in the central Gulf of Alaska, bringing rain into Western Prince William Sound, the eastern Kenai Peninsula and the Seward area. Those areas should expect steady rain for the next six hours, stretching into the evening for Seward area, the storm will then shift and move off to the north through the weekend. Another weather system is coming in Monday or Tuesday to take its place but it will be more of a typical storm pattern, not an extreme pattern.

Water was so high in lot of locations, especially in the Mat-Su it will take a while for rivers and streams to recede.

Anchorage should see streams continue to fall. They fell significantly in the last 24 hours and NWS does not see those coming up.

The big wind storms are over. Anchorage experienced some gusty wind this morning, but nothing out of the ordinary. The Upper Hillside area saw some 65-mile-per-hour gusts, but nothing exceptional.

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Lori Townsend is the News Director for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She got her start in broadcasting at the age of 11 as the park announcer of the fast pitch baseball games in Deer Park, Wisconsin.

She has worked in print and broadcast journalism for more than 18 years. She was the co-founder and former Editor of Northern Aspects, a magazine featuring northern Wisconsin writers and artists. She worked for 7 years at tribal station WOJB on the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibway Reservation in Wisconsin, first as an on-air programmer and special projects producer and eventually News Director.

In 1997 she co-hosted a continuing Saturday afternoon public affairs talk program on station KSTP in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Radio brought her to Alaska where she worked as a broadcast trainer for Native fellowship students at Koahnic Broadcasting. Following her work there, she helped co-found the non-profit broadcast company Native Voice Communications with veteran Alaskan broadcasters Nellie Moore, D’Anne Hamilton, Len Anderson, Sharon McConnell and Veronica Iya. NVC created the award-winning Independent Native News as well as producing many other documentaries and productions. Townsend was NVC’s technical trainer and assistant producer of INN.

Through her freelance work, she has produced news and feature stories nationally and internationally for Independent Native News, National Native News, NPR , Pacifica, Monitor Radio, Radio Netherlands and AIROS. Her print work and interviews have been published in News from Indian Country, Yakama Nation Review and other publications. Ms. Townsend has also worked as a broadcast trainer for the Native American Journalist’s Association and with NPR’s Doug Mitchell and as a freelance editor. Townsend is the recipient of numerous awards for her work from the Alaska Press Club, the Native American Journalists Association and a gold and a silver reel award from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.

Townsend was the recipient of a Fellowship at the Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting in Rhode Island as well as a fellowship at the Knight Digital Media Center in Berkeley.

She is an avid reader, a rabid gardener and counts water skiing, training horses, diving and a welding certification among her past and current interests.

ltownsend (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  |  907.550.8452 | About Lori