BLM, Division of Emergency Services, offer evacuation rides in Koyukuk

Posted: Friday, May 25, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- About 30 to 50 people were taking part in a voluntary evacuation of Koyukuk on Friday after flood waters from an ice jam on the Yukon River covered about three-fourths of the community's runway.

Mike Haller of the state Division of Emergency Services said the runway is situated lower than the rest of the community and high water made the runway inaccessible to fixed-wing aircraft.

Haller said helicopters under contract to the Bureau of Land Management were bringing in groceries already purchased by residents. The helicopters were then going to shuttle some residents, mostly the elderly and young children, to Galena to wait out the high water.

Haller said the Koyukuk residents had made arrangements to stay with relatives in Galena.

Haller said residents expected the ice jam to break late Friday or Saturday.

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