MAT-SU—A wet, slow-to-arrive spring, eight months after a federal flood disaster has officials at the Matanuska-Susitna Borough monitoring and responding to saturated roads, wet neighborhoods, and high water in creeks and rivers.
“The ground is so saturated that the water has nowhere to go and so is running fast on the surface,” said Borough Emergency Manager Casey Cook on Monday.
Borough Public Works officials are responding to damaged roads and blocked culverts. Staff recently closed one failing road, Caswell Lakes Road. “This is a very unusual year,” said Acting Public Works Director Jim Jenson. “We had so much water in the ground with the September floods, and then it froze, and now it’s trying to thaw,” Jenson said. Some road repair requires grading, but grading cannot begin on roads so saturated that heavy equipment would damage the roads further. Jenson asks residents living on remote, wet roads, to reduce travel trips.
It’s going to get wetter, according to the forecast. Scattered snow showers are expected for northern parts of the Susitna Valley on May 13 and through this week near Talkeetna. Rain is expected through the week with snow showers expected tonight and Friday night in the Matanuska Valley, according to NOAA forecasts.
Today areas of concern for flooding or erosion are scattered from Sutton and Chickaloon to Hatcher Pass to Knik-Fairview and Meadow Lakes.
• Sun Valley Road—overflow is washing over the road. State DOT workers are working to unblock a culvert.
• California Creek in Chickaloon area, a badly-eroded road shoulder, Public Works put in pipes today to help.
• Caswell Lakes Road, a 2.2 mile stretch is closed for 1-2 weeks due to late frost holding water, and road failure. This road is typically closed in spring temporarily.
• Stacy Street wet conditions and heavy vehicle traffic from fire, Public Works on scene for repairs
• Nancy Creek Circle a blocked culvert may be unsafe to reach with high waters near Willow
• S. Birch Cove in Knik-Fairview
• Timberland Loop in Knik-Fairview
• The Little Susitna River, levels are being monitored
• Burrow Street, about 3 miles up Willow-Fishhook Rd. has flowing water over it.
• Deception Creek—becoming fairly high with water flow, snow, and ice.
• Deneki Bridge ice built up, water flowing around
• Fireweed Field Road off Pittman Road
By 9 p.m. Acting Civil Works Construction Manager Bob Walden reported:
Today we had to close a few more roads due to saturated soils and hazardous mud holes for most vehicles.
1) Caswell Lake Road – Closed still.
2) Oil well road – just thawing out and water on several spots watching few soft spots
Fairview loop area
1) Rothbury Avenue – Closed end of the road. Road half flooded other half impassable to two residents' homes.
2) W Sheridan Circle - temp fabric & gravel fix one lane passable currently
3) E McNeese Parkway – currently one lane passable.
4) Sue Lane – one lane passable over mud mats, but might need to close tomorrow and use mats on Elizabeth Drive. Detour using Perin to Dan to Fairview.
Meadow Lakes area
1) Three Bees – Closed residents using Bugaboo Circle for detour route.
2) Juliana Drive – Closed residents using Alta Drive to Meadow lakes for detour route around.
3) Theodore Drive – Closed can get in off Meadow Lakes loop or in Sunrise Drive off Pittman.
4) Dean Drive - East end is impassable road closed to residents.
5) Sunrise Drive – Off Pittman currently getting fabric & gravel fix for one lane passable situation.
6) June Lane – One lane passable over mud mats.
7) Stacy Street – One lane passable crew just finished fabric & gravel temp one lane fix.
8) Elizabeth Drive – Currently watching, almost impassable, probably pull mats off Sue and close Sue off Fairview tomorrow.
1) Welch Way – Currently almost impassable scheduled for new culvert and gavel fix tomorrow morning.
1) S Alder Drive – One lane passable over mud mats
2) Cardiff Lane – Sink hole under one lane of the existing asphalt. One lane blocked single lane around.
1) Fish Lakes Road – Very end of Fish Lakes Road and Chickaloon Road intersection California Creek glaciations have washed about 2/3 of the road and currently one is temporarily fixed and usable. Continue culvert repair work tomorrow.
2) Shaganoff Avenue, one lane passable and trying
Big Lake area
1) Pond Lily Lane – one lane passable on mud mats barely.
1) Lakeshore Drive monitoring one soft spot
1) Koppenburg Road – Temp fix with fabric & gravel first thing in the morning
2) McKenzie Drive – Tried a temp fix last week with fabric and gravel but it got worse and one lane barely passable.
The Borough will continue monitoring rivers, creeks, and roads.
For trouble on roads call the Borough Public Works hotline: 745-9826.
If your home is flooding call 373-8800 during hours of 8 am to-5 pm. After hours, for house flooding call 911
“It’s easier to respond early,” said Cook. “If you think your house is going to flood let us know as soon as possible.”
The Borough still has a few hundred sandbags for protection of primary homes.
Flood packets are available at fire stations & libraries.