FAIRBANKS (AP) Salcha residents are dealing with another round of flooding, less than three months after icy overflow seeped into some homes.
One resident had to evacuate 35 dogs by airboat Wednesday morning.
Across the road, Bev Lucas eyed the expanse of water that separated her from the home she hasn't lived in since early February when overflow froze in the drainage system.
Now water surrounded her home as ice jams on the Tanana River and Piledriver Slough caused flooding in her neighborhood for the second year in a row.
Fast-moving water washed over the intersection of Xantheius Way, Stringer Road and the Old Richardson Highway.
The same overflow that crept into Lucas' drainage system in February set up the area for the most recent flood by freezing the waterways' bottom layer of ice, said Barry Jennings, emergency operations manager for the Fairbanks North Star Borough. It didn't leave room for water underneath to push the ice up and away at breakup.
The old ice is creating a jam on the Tanana River behind the Boondox Bar, forcing the water over 100 yards of the roughly 1-mile-long erosion control dam.
The water is flowing into nearby homes, leaking into Piledriver Slough and into roadways for about four miles. Much of the Old Richardson Highway and Old Valdez Trail are only passable with all-terrain vehicles.
Water has surrounded or seeped into about 90 homes and 50 more are threatened, said Rob Weathers, chief of Salcha Rescue.
But only a few people had left their homes Wednesday. Most were waiting to see if the flood will be a repeat disaster.
Last year, ice chunks created bottlenecks in the river and backed up water that flowed over another portion of the erosion control dike. It caused an estimated $2 million worth of damage to homes and roads in the area, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
This is awful, but last year, it was, oh, my Lord,'' said Marge Poage. It's just doing its thing. We just hope its thing will go down the river.''
But Ed Plumb, a hydrologist for the National Weather Service, said the water level in Big Delta increased a foot in 48 hours earlier in the week and the crest is heading north toward Salcha.
The water is coming from melting snow from record warm temperatures in the Northway and Tok area over the weekend.
After last year's flood, the borough mayor and the governor declared the area a disaster, making it easier for residents to get funds to help repair some of the damage. The state Department of Transportation also rebuilt some of the roads and built a bridge spanning the slough.
Much of that construction, including the bridge, has been destroyed by this year's flooding.
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