By Casey Cook, Mat-Su Borough Emergency Manager
Erosion Alert for the Matanuska River from Milepost 13 to 15 of the Old Glenn Highway near the Butte. Rainy forecast and river directed at riverbank.
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Department of Emergency Services is notifying residents between the Maud Road extension/Milepost 15 and Milepost 13 of the Old Glenn Highway that increased rates of riverbank erosion are being observed. There is NO need to evacuate currently, but residents should begin planning for the possibility that continued erosion may allow water from the Matanuska River to flow into lower ground between the river and the highway and may impact homes. Residents should be prepared to move to safer ground on short notice. This includes gathering all important documents and collecting medications, photos and pet supplies.
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough Department of Emergency Services and the Butte Fire Department will be monitoring and patrolling the areas of concern to assess the need for further action up to and including evacuation. If an evacuation is recommended by the Borough, the Red Cross of Alaska will partner with the Matanuska-Susitna Borough to establish a shelter.
The Matanuska River has a long history of riverbank erosion at many points along its length. Previous studies indicate that bank erosion can happen at both low and high water levels. Residents should maintain vigilance for the duration of the open water period and are encouraged to have an emergency plan in place in the event of rapid erosion or channel change.
Once again, there is NO need to evacuate at this time. If an evacuation becomes necessary, you will be contacted by Borough officials.