Flooding leaves Salcha residents stranded

Posted: Monday, January 06, 2003

FAIRBANKS(AP) -- The state Department of Transportation said access to Salcha remained cut off by flood waters on the Old Richardson Highway Monday and it could be Wednesday before the waters freeze sufficiently to allow construction of an ice road.

About 30 Salcha families remain stranded due to overflow from the Tanana River that covers the Old Richardson Highway. The flooding was caused by an ice jam on the Tanana River.

Ron Reitano, Fairbanks-area manager of maintenance and operations for the state Department of Transportation, said about two miles of the highway are flooded.

''We've got areas on the road that are under two feet of water,'' Reitano said.

Transportation crews removed a portion of the roadway on Saturday to help relieve the flooding.

Reitano says temperatures in the area are expected to drop to 40 below zero Tuesday night.

''After a day or two we should have enough ice that we could try to make a road back in there on top of the ice,'' Reitano said.

Salcha is located about 35 miles southeast of Fairbanks.

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