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Rivers rise near Fairbanks

Posted: Thursday, July 17, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) The area's two most prominent rivers are rising, for different reasons.

Officials have declared a flood warning for the Tanana River from the Big Delta River to Fairbanks, predicting significant bank erosion.

Some Salcha area residents are reporting groundwater rising into their basements, according to Bob Fischer, the National Weather Service's lead forecaster. The Tanana has spilled over its banks at one road in Salcha.

The Tanana's rise is due to temperatures in the 70s in the mountains southeast of Delta Junction where the Tanana originates.

The Tanana's rise ''is mainly due to warm temperatures aloft, causing glacial snowmelt in the source regions,'' Fischer said. ''The high water should continue for some time. Temperatures are going to rise.''

Water levels are expected to rise through Saturday, the National Weather Service warned.

Meanwhile, the Chena River has undergone a transformation thanks to rain. After weeks of low water levels, the Chena rose 2 feet in two days and was expected to crest at more than 5 feet.

That's 7 feet below flood stage but a turnaround from the weekend when gravel bars and ankle-deep water were the norm.

Meteorologists have recorded less than an inch of rain at Fairbanks International Airport. As much as twice that amount has fallen in outlying areas.



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