A flood warning in Alaska’s waterlogged Kenai Peninsula has been extended, with some homes already hit by moderate flooding Sunday, forcing residents to move to higher ground.
The flood warning is extended through Thursday for the Kenai River from the mouth of the river to Kenai Lake, the National Weather Service said.
Borough Mayor Mike Navarre declared a disaster for the Peninsula on Friday, which appeals for emergency help. This declaration named dozens of rivers, roads and bridges that were impacted by flooding. On the Lower Peninsula, Stariski Creek, Slikok Creek and the Anchor River over ran their banks. Nanwalek also experienced flooding and landslides. The borough activated its emergency response plan and set up shelter in Seward and began providing basic resources.
More rains ahead in another weather pattern this week mean extreme rains for the Gulf of Alaska and coastal communities.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough tracked flooding conditions throughout the week and issued several press releases for specific areas of the Peninsula. Spokeswoman Brenda Ahlberg said moderate flooding was reported in the Anchor Point area, affecting some homes and roads. The Kenai River was closed to boating on Monday due to fallen trees and flooded conditions. Cooper Landing residents were to be prepared to evacuate due to rising water conditions there, Ahlberg said in a release.
Ahlberg estimated about 14,000 residents have been affected directly. A landslide in Nanwalek meant emergency crews were assessing the situation there on Monday.
As an example of stream pressure, the Kenai River below Skilak Lake is expected to crest at 15.5 feet. Flood stage is measured at 14.2 feet, meaning this is more than a foot variation. More rain is expected throughout the week, with the heaviest amounts falling in the mountains and continued flooding.
The borough also issued a warning that flooded residential wells may be contaminated and said residents in flooded areas should boil water to be used for consumption or cleaning.
On Monday, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management began to respond to emergency requests made by the Matanuska-Susitna and Kenai Peninsula Boroughs.
The Department of Transportation, Department of Environment Conservation, Alaska State Troopers, American Red Cross of Alaska, Salvation Army, and Alaska National Guard were all at various levels of supplying support.
KPB’s emergency manager requested DHS&EM to provide state coordination liaisons in Seward and KPB. A DHS&EM emergency management specialist was traveling to Seward Sunday to provide state coordination to the KPB Emergency Manager. A second DHS&EM Emergency Manager will be deployed to the KPB EOC on Monday.
Gov. Sean Parnell made a declaration of a state disaster on Friday for the Mat-Su and Kenai Peninsula Boroughs, as well as other impacted areas. The declaration authorizes all state agencies and resources to be used to address emergency response needs.
Flood clean-up and current information can be found at www.flood.alaska.gov.
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