Fairbanks family impacted by unusually wet summer

Posted: Monday, September 08, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) Linda Granger was able to hold off the floodwaters of the Chena River for only so long.

But at about 2:30 a.m. on Friday, the dirt berms protecting her home from flood waters failed, and the family awoke to find water in their home.

''The water was rising and I had everything barricaded,'' she said. ''If I hadn't fallen asleep it wouldn't have happened.''

When her 14-year-old son, Bryan, woke for school that morning, he stepped in the water that had crept into his ground-floor bedroom.

By Saturday, the water had receded and Granger began the process of cleaning up after battling the flood waters since July.

The Grangers were the only family displaced by recent flooding, said Barry Jennings, emergency operations manager for the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

It has been a wet summer for the Fairbanks area, said Cary Freeman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The Fairbanks International Airport recorded almost 6 inches for the month of July, including the 2.27 inches that fell July 27. That's the most rain recorded since 1904 when such records were kept.

Rain fell in all but 11 days of August, Freeman said.

Water levels on the middle Chena River have been falling since Tuesday evening and the river near Chena Lakes is below flood stage, the National Weather Service said. However, other sections of the Chena are still flooding.

A river flood warning had been issued for the middle Chena above the Moose Creek Dam near where Granger lives, extending through Sunday.

There are more showers predicted for Wednesday, but by Saturday the temperatures should plummet to between 20 and 30 degrees and rain will turn into snow, Freeman said.

''It's going to be similar to what the Denali area got in July,'' Freeman said.

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