Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Flood Update 8:00pm 8/18 2 Bridges Threatened

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

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER--Rising waters are threatening two bridges in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, the Shirley Towne Bridge in Willow and the Moose Meadows Bridge near Schrock Drive and Carney Road outside Wasilla. Approaches on both bridges are washing away.

Two different drainage areas are creating trouble spots at the moment off Willow Creek and off the Little Susitna River.

In Willow, Friday Road and Willow Way are reportedly under three feet of water. Residents were asked to evacuate earlier when emergency responders went door to door.

Near Hatcher Pass, another troubled spot is along the Little Su off Wasilla Fishhook Road. At least six homes on Shorty Street are threatened by rising water in the Little Susitna River as well as some off Edgerton Parks Road.

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

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. Three volunteer crews are helping fill sandbags.

The Parks Highway is open. The National Weather Service predicted water could reach the Parks by tonight. Water was reported on Johnson Drive near mile 71.5 of the Parks Highway, but not on the Parks.

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.

On the Glenn Highway, rocks are on the road at mile 70. Drivers should be cautious of the rocks and of the Dept. of Transportation crews on scene.

In a 7pm update the National Weather Service has forecasted moderate to heavy rain in the Talkeetna Mountains and across Southcentral Alaska throughout the night. The flood warning remains in effect until Sunday.

At the Talkeetna Command Post, Johnny Murdock reports that the rivers and creeks have not reached flood stage, but the water is rising rapidly. Tomorrow sandbags will be placed on dikes along the Talkeetna River in Talkeetna if the water continues to rise.

The Municipality of Anchorage is sending sandbags.

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

For more information visit the Borough Web site at