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Heavy Rainfall Causing Flooding In Areas Around Fairbanks

Heavy rains in the Fairbanks area are causing flooding along rivers. National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb reports high water on the Chena River, along Chena Hot Springs road east of town.

"One to two feet of water is flowing over at mile 36.9, and it is impassable for some vehicles. Also, reports of water over most of the banks out in the Chena Rec area and other places upstream of the Moose Creek Dam," he said. 

Gates on the Moose Creek Dam in North Pole are being lowered to shave off some of the cresting Chena, diverting flow into a spillway at the Chena Flood Control Project.  Plumb says that will limit high water in the cities of North Pole and Fairbanks, but it won’t be enough to prevent flooding in the low lying Steamboat Landing, Freeman Road area just downstream of the dam. Meanwhile, he says flooding is also an issue on the Salcha River.

"One of our observers is about 20 miles upriver from the Richardson Highway bridge, and they've got three to four feet of water in their yard," Plumb said. "And they're in a cabin that's up on a higher bank and they don't tend to get flooded as often. They're saying this is some of the highest water they've seen since 1986."          

Plumb says the Goodpaster River is also high and likely overflowing it’s banks and flooding low lying areas, adding there are cabins along the river.