Yukon River Continues Breakup near Eagle, Risk At Tanana

May 5, 2020

Credit Crane Johnson, Hydrologist / NWS Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center

Ice is breaking up on the upper Yukon River, including at Eagle and Tanana.

 


Speaking before noon today during a National Weather Service and Pacific River Forecast Center teleconference,  long time Eagle resident and river watcher John Borg reported movement upstream of the community.

"And there's a big wall of ice that is stopped just below Eagle Creek, and it doesn't seem to be in a hurry to go anywhere, it just stopped there with a big ridge across the river.”

Borg said the water level at Eagle had only risen slightly but that there was still significant icy snow in the woods outside of the community. That’s also the case downriver at Tanana, where the Tanana River dumps into the Yukon River, and Curtis Sommer reported ice movement overnight Monday.

"Last night the ice moved in front of Tanana. The water came up; it's maybe about a foot above where the beach hit the bank. It took out one smokehouse, and then it took out some cottonwwod trees, bent them over and put them across the road upriver from Tanana.”

Sommer said the situation has prompted efforts to move things away from low lying areas along the river.

"The Tribal Council hired a couple of crews; they're moving freezers, vehicles and boats and put them on higher ground, (away from) where the flooding risk is greatest and then from there, we're gonna concentrate on the core village area.”

Sommer says local residents are being urged to pack up things, including their important papers, in preparation to move if the river rises.