Lorien Nettleton, KTNA - Talkeetna
There was a fatality Friday on the Cat-train bringing supplies for the Susitna Dam studies at Stephan Lake Lodge. A D-6 bulldozer fell through the ice and the driver died in the accident. He is identified as Donald Kiehl, 72, of North Pole. Kiehl was retrieved from the lake and individuals on scene attempted CPR on Kiehl but he was unable to be resuscitated.
Planning for the proposed Susitna Watana Hydro dam is back on track. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission had delayed the project, after finding some of the studies inadequate. But the agency reversed that decision, after receiving appeals from Governor Sean Parnell, Alaska’s Congressional delegation, and state lawmakers.
National and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals have submitted their reviews of studies designed to show what will happen to the Susitna River if the 800 foot-high Susitna Watana hydroelectric dam is built. And many national agencies have expressed concerns with the speed of the process the Alaska Energy Authority has undertaken as it prepares to apply for the license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Talkeetna residents are wondering what is going on after two buildings caught ablaze on two separate nights. On Saturday night an aluminum-sided trailer was destroyed on I street. On Sunday night, a second blaze ignited in a house across the street from that site. That brings the number of unexplained fires in Talkeetna to three in the last two weeks. Both properties were unoccupied and no injuries were reported. The Talkeetna Volunteer, Willow and Houston Fire Departments responded.
A fire broke out in Downtown Talkeetna in the early hours of Thursday morning. The fire burned one small structure to the ground and caused extensive damage to two other buildings. Talkeetna Fire responded a little after 2 a.m. to a blaze that had consumed the My Little Dumpling food trailer and was quickly spreading to the adjacent structures, including Denali Dry Goods, built in 1930, and the Denali Zipline Tours building.
The State’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has identified 1,300 structures affected by September’s flood disaster. As homeowners continue to slog through paperwork for disaster claims, FEMA has stepped in to join the state’s recovery efforts.
Talkeetna Fire Captain and Operations Chief Tim Morgan stopped by the command center this morning on his way home to a well-deserved sleep break to report that flood waters continued to recede in both East Talkeetna and downtown Talkeetna. Hydrology levels have dropped significantly on the Talkeetna River and Montana Creek; the Susitna River water levels are slowly dropping
Governor Sean Parnell declared a state of emergency for Talkeetna at a press conference late Friday afternoon. Large areas of East Talkeetna are under several inches of water, affecting about 100 homes. The Talkeetna River began to rise Wednesday night, and breached its banks on Thursday morning, flowing in to East Talkeetna.
- NWS: Anchorage
- NWS: Alaska Water Levels
- Mat-Su Emergency Services
- Anchorage Conditions Hotline: 907-343-4701
The State Department of Environmental Conservation is considering a change to its pesticide regulations that would no longer require agencies to obtain a permit for chemical treatments on state-owned lands. This proposal has caught the attention of at least one state lawmaker.
An avalanche on Mt. McKinley’s West Buttress during the early morning hours of Wednesday, June 13 has claimed the lives of four Japanese climbers, leaving one survivor. National Park Service rangers believe the crevasse is the final resting place for 64-year-old Yoshiaki Kato, 50-year-old Masako Suda, 56-year-old Michiko Suzuki and 63-year-old Tamao Suzuki. 69 year old Hitoshi Ogi survived. National Park Service Spokesperson Maureen McLaughlin says this is the first time an avalanche on the west buttress has resulted in fatalities.
A group of disabled veterans landed on the Kahiltna Glacier Monday to begin their attempt to climb Mount McKinley. The group is part of the Disabled Sports USA’s Wounded Warfighter program, which encourages veterans to overcome physical setbacks to participate in sports at all levels.
For many Alaskans, any vacation planning starts with clearing room on the kitchen table and unrolling a map. Many of these maps have been made by the United States Geological Survey. Now USGS is carrying out its first nationwide mapping effort for the digital age, and Alaska is about to have its very own close up.
The first of a series of scoping meetings for the proposed Susitna Watana hydroelectric dam took place in Anchorage Monday, kicking off the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s environmental impact analysis of the proposed 700-foot dam. Talkeetna is the first community downriver from the Dam, and some residents are wary of the impacts the $4.5 billion project could have on local river ecology.
As long as snows are deep and nights are dark, moose mingling in roadways is a fact of life everywhere in Alaska. With a higher -than-average number of moose killed in collisions with vehicles this winter, the roadkill salvage program in the Mat Su Borough is rotating through the list frequently. One name on the list is the Su Valley High School Moose Club.
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