Borough not expecting flooding

Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2008

As temperatures get higher and snow begins to melt, water levels on the Kenai River may start to rise.

Although flooding can be unpredictable, Glenda Landua, project coordinator for the Kenai Peninsula Borough's Office of Emergency Management, said that no major floods are anticipated this spring.

"I don't think we're expecting any major ice jam flooding like what happened last year," she said. "That was unique to the time and the temperature."

According to Landua, one way for flooding to occur in the area is the outburst of glacier dammed lakes, particularly Snow and Skilak Lakes, which outlet into the Kenai and Skilak Lakes, respectively

"Those systems, when they release water in a surge, especially when the river is high or there is ice on the river, can cause problems. The river is not high right now, but it's not ice-free yet."

These lakes typically release every two to five years and Landua said that neither is expected to release this year.

Although major flooding is not expected to occur on the Kenai River, Landua said it is important to be prepared for the worst.

"If we kind of steady into this slow warming trend, things should go okay," she said. "If it warms up really fast or we get lots of rain, who knows. ... Anything could happen with the spring break up. You know, ice jams or anything."

Information about flood safety and preparation can be found on the National Weather Association's Web site at floodsafety.noaa.gov.

Hannahlee Allers can be reached at hannahlee.allers@peninsulaclarion.com



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