Matanuska River—The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Manager, John Moosey, granted an easement to the State today so disaster mitigation work could begin on borough property along the Matanuska River.
“I granted a public use easement to the State of Alaska for the purpose of protection of land, utilities and infrastructure,” Moosey said. Alaska DOT, Department of Transportation, Commissioner Marc Luiken is expected to assess the site today with Moosey.
Armour rock is being delivered now for DOT efforts to protect infrastructure. DOT is going to deposit rock in a trench on the other side of the powerlines. The rock is staged along the bike path today.
The Borough and the State declared disaster yesterday. See story here https://www.matsugov.us/news/borough-and-governor-declare-disaster
SHELTER SITE CHANGED
Butte Elementary will not be the shelter site. Instead, if flooding occurrs and residents need to evacuate they may go to the spacious 7th Day Adventist Campgrounds at 16970 E. Maud Road. The site has Cabins, RV sites, tent sites, and a gym.
Reach it by driving the Old Glenn Highway, turn east onto Maud Road, drive 1 mile, and the site is on your right. It is not yet open to the public.
RIVER LEVELS LOW, BUT RAIN THEN HEAT
The Matanuska River level is actually lower than expected. NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, National Weather Service) has levels today at a little over 7 feet, while the action stage is 2 feet higher. Rain fell today and is in the forecast until Thursday. The heat expected on Friday through Sunday may cause glacier melt that could affect the river levels.
RIVER AIMED AT SOFT RIVERBANK
The full brunt of the river is aimed at a soft riverbank some 150 feet off the Old Glenn Highway near E. Leeside Circle. The concern is if the forceful river punches through a thin bank and floods low elevation property and homes. A worst-case scenario is some 60 to 75 affected homes, according to Director of Emergency Services Bill Gamble.
BUTTE FIREFIGHTERS CHECKING IN
Butte firefighters knocked on doors, distributing evacuation checklists. “They distributed to many people down the Old Glenn,” Emergency Services Director Bill Gamble said. “They were very well received, very grateful.”
ANIMAL CARE PROACTIVE IN OUTREACH
Borough Animal Care visited with residents closest to the erosion site and learned that five or six families all have back-up plans for their pets if they had to evacuate from flood waters. “Residents were ecstatic that we reached out to them,” Animal Care Director Kirsten Vesel said. One family requested help. Animal Care is on standby to house three sheep and some chickens. Animal Care is staging a supply trailer at the evacuation shelter.
Aerial image credit to ArcticZone Drone.