Weather helps high water retreat

Posted: Monday, July 02, 2001

Flood risk on the central Kenai Peninsula has diminished, thanks to the cloudy weekend weather in the Kenai Mountains.

Flow gauges the U.S. Geologi-cal Society maintains in area waterways showed water levels in the upper Kenai River basin declining Saturday and Sunday after peaking Friday. Water levels downstream remained steady after several weeks of increases.

Meteorologists attribute the high water to heavy snow pack lingering in the Kenai Mountains and predicted that overcast skies and cooler temperatures would slow or reverse the waters' rise.

Sunday afternoon, the water level stage at the Sterling Highway Bridge in Cooper Landing was 13.45 feet. Flood stage is 13 feet, and Friday the water there had peaked at 13.7 feet.

Several Cooper Landing residents reported low areas of yards and driveways awash. At the boat ramp adjacent to the bridge, one parking sign stood several feet in the river and the water ran over adjacent grass.

At the Soldotna gauge, the flow had leveled off Sunday, although it remained at a record high for the date.

The National Weather Ser-vice's Alaska River Forecast Center predicted Sunday that water levels will fall several inches in the Kenai basin over the next several days.

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