Skagway continues cleanup of Dyea flooding

Posted: Thursday, August 01, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- Skagway city officials assessing damage from a landslide and flood that forced the evacuation of nearby Dyea plan to ask for state assistance.

Thousands of cubic feet of mud and debris need to be removed from West Creek after the July 23 landslide and the city plans to ask Gov. Tony Knowles for a disaster declaration, said Bob Ward, Skagway city manager.

Ward is also compiling information about flood damage to property owners to make a disaster declaration request to the state, he said.

Dyea is a small mining town with about 25 year-round residents and many summer residents about 10 miles north of Skagway.

Residents were forced to evacuate after a 700-foot high moraine aside the West Creek Glacier fell into a lake below. The material caused West Creek to rise and sent flood waters into the town.

The West Creek bridge is open to some traffic, but the West Creek Road remains closed, Ward said. Most residents in Dyea have access to their homes, although cleanup continues, he said.

The Dyea campground and Chilkoot Trail are again open, said Bruce Noble, superintendent of Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park.

The city plans to remove about 60,000 cubic yards of material to restore the riverbed back to normal levels to prevent future flooding, Ward said.

The Skagway City Council is considering a $250,000 emergency appropriation from the town's reserve to begin removing boulders and material, Ward said.

If Knowles issues a disaster declaration, the city could receive additional support from the state.

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