Matanuska-Susitna Borough

2 a.m. Flood and Road Updates

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Friday, August 18, 2006

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER--The Parks Highway is closed at mile 137 where the Troublesome Creek Bridge reportedly dropped a foot. There is currently a 25-foot washout of the bridge. Last reported Alaska State Troopers were on the scene at mile 147 on the Parks directing traffic. Water has also crossed the roadway at mile 133 near the Princess Lodge and the road is closed at this time. The Alaska Dept. of Transportation is bulldozing an access road to divert water flow at mile 133 on the Parks.

Final evacuation of the Talkeetna River Subdivision off of Mercedes Road has been completed. Emergency crews are advising homeowners off of Yoder Road and Montana Creek Road to evacuate. Montana Creek Road, ¬Ĺ mile from the Parks Highway, is washed out. KTNA radio is announcing the evacuation. Transport buses are on standby to evacuate residents from the East Talkeetna Area. Borough and local responders have been monitoring key location ns in the Upper Susitna Valley to gauge the quickly rising water levels in area creeks and rivers, which is determined to be rising between 4 inches to 6 inches per hour at certain sites along the Talkeetna River.

There is a power outage reported in the Willow area.

More sandbags are being brought into the Houston, Willow, and Talkeetna areas to assist with flooding in these areas. Sandbags are currently being transported to the Houston Fire Station. Sandbags are available to the public at two location ns. The public is allowed to pick up and fill sandbags at the new DOT lot at mile 71.2 on the Parks Highway in Willow or at the Central Landfill on 49th State Street in the Core Area. The Borough is staging them and assessing waterways. The Borough expects it will have more than 4,400 sandbags to use and has ordered more.

Other areas of concern currently reported:

Flooding is also being reported in Houston off of King Arthur Drive. There is major flooding also being reported behind Miller's Market.

Water is reported to be at the banks of Moose Creek and is flowing swiftly at this time.

The water level is currently three feet below the bridge at the Edgerton Parks Bridge, and there is two feet of water coming over the road at North Shushana Drive off of Schrock Road.

A landslide is currently reported at mile 219 of the Parks Highway, and it is reported that the road is still passable at this time.

Earlier, rocks were on the road at mile 70 of the Glenn Highway. Department of Transportation crews have cleared the rock from the roadway.

Shelters are open at the Willow Community Center and at Larson Elementary School and Su Valley High. Incident Commander Dennis Brodigan has asked residents who live in low-lying areas along swelling rivers and creeks to have an exit plan.

Borough Manager John Duffy and Borough Mayor Tim Anderson have requested a formal state disaster declaration from the Governor. Earlier Gov. Frank Murkowski issued a press release extending his help. Borough Mayor Tim Anderson signed a disaster declaration this afternoon for the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. The Borough activated an Emergency Operations Center earlier this afternoon. State Troopers and Department of Transportation are working with the Borough.

In a 10 pm update the National Weather Service has forecasted heavy rain to continue in the Talkeetna Mountains and across Southcentral Alaska throughout the night. The flood warning remains in effect until Sunday.

A disaster declaration means the incident has gone above normal operation levels and Borough resources are being taxed.