More rain possible for flooded Interior

Posted: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) With Fairbanks and other Interior Alaska locations on pace for the wettest July on record, flooding closed Chena Hot Springs Road on Monday and restricted traffic in waterlogged areas of the Parks Highway.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expected it would have to lower the gates Tuesday on the Moose Creek Dam, part of the Chena Lakes Flood Control Project that prevents flooding in Fairbanks.

More rain could be on the way. Skies were sunny Monday but forecasters predicted rain Tuesday night or Wednesday.

''We don't expect more than a half of an inch, if that,'' said National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Richmond. He did not expect the rain to trigger additional flooding.

The weekend's Interior downpour of more than three inches rocketed the July rainfall total to 5.29 inches just 0.1 inches below the record rainfall in Fairbanks for July, set in 1992.

The heavy rainfall created a number of flooding problems, including:

Jenny M Creek at Mile 19 Chena Hot Springs road, where bridge abutments were partially washed out.

Mile 37.5 Mile Chena Hot Springs Road, were at least two feet of water covered the roadway and closed the road.

Mile 223.9 Parks Highway, where traffic was restricted to one lane after flooding eroded bridge abutments.

Mile 177 Parks Highway, where the northbound lane was washed out due to plugged culverts near Honolulu Creek.

Mile 56 Elliott Highway, where traffic was halted due to high water Sunday night. The road reopened Monday.

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