Snow-weary Alaskans prepare for flooding

With parts of Alaska buried by record or near-record snowfall, a cold spring could lead to heavy flooding on the state’s major rivers.

According to hydrologist Scott Lindsey, with the Alaska River Forecast Center, a NOAA operation in Anchorage, forecasts call for cooler-than-normal spring temperatures.

Cooler-than-normal spring temperatures could lead to a rapid transition to warm temperatures, which in turn could lead to overly rapid melting, unleashing “massive sheets of ice, bottlenecking at river bends and causing flooding upriver when the water has nowhere to go.”

“At this point, it’s a heads up,” said Lindsey. “The prediction could change if temperatures warm gradually, allowing a graceful thaw.”

But that may be wishful thinking.

Last year, the swollen Kuskokwim River  — the ninth longest river in the nation — suffered the highest flooding ‘in memory,’ crushing homes in the upriver village of Crooked Creek and prompting the evacuations of many  residents.

And in 2009. an ice jam on the Yukon River near the Canadian border  caused severe floodingthat “wiped out the gravel highway, several homes and destroyed most of the buildings in nearby Eagle Village.”

Ice chunks the size of houses

During the Eagle Village flood, “ice chunks, some the size of houses, pushed out of the river bank and damaged buildings along the city’s Front Street, knocking several off their foundations.”

See entire article:
http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/snow-weary-and-frozen-alaskans-prepare-break-blues

Thanks to Jay Tindle for this link

“At what point do these rivers with huge amounts of damaging scouring ice become considered glaciers?” asks Jay.

“And why are these icebreakers needed if the ice is disappearing? –apparently icebreakers must be borrowed by AGW believing countries from countries with the intelligence not to believe in AGW.

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/shell-contracting-finnish-icebreakers-arctic-oil-exploration


3 thoughts on “Snow-weary Alaskans prepare for flooding”

  1. We’ve started our normal schedule of spring melting in Anchorage, even though it’s only barely hitting 30F the sun is out long enough now it feels warmer than what it is. It won’t be unheard of if we still get hit with one more good snow storm before we are done getting the white stuff.

    I’m not as worried as what others say that don’t live here. I think our snow will be mostly gone for summer season.

  2. with recent precedents already, I do hope they didnt just repair damaged roads etc and not wake up and move roads- shore up or otherwise consider raising levies etc on those proven problematic bends or narrow areas in rivers.
    after all they did have some dry times? surely when work should have been done to prepare.

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