Residents allowed back to Dyea after flood

Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Residents of a small community near Skagway have been allowed back to their homes after a landslide caused flooding that forced their evacuation.

About 35 people, including year-round residents and visitors to a campground, were forced out of Dyea following the landslide near the West Creek Glacier early Tuesday.

The landslide caused a sudden surge of water down the West Creek drainage and caused the Taiya River to rise.

Residents reported water in some of the homes but the extent of damage is not immediately clear, said Skagway City Manager Bob Ward.

Skagway had set up an emergency shelter at the Skagway City School on Tuesday, and tours into the area were canceled.

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Superintendent Bruce Noble said the park is now open but the campgrounds are temporarily closed. Campers were allowed to retrieve tents and vehicles Tuesday, he said.

''It looked like it was just about totally covered with water when it peaked. Other than silt and debris left behind, there wasn't significant damage,'' Noble said.

The Chilkoot Trail has also reopened, he said.

The Dyea Road was reopened at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Ward said. The West Creek Road and West Creek bridge on the far end of the West Creek valley remained closed Wednesday.

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