Kenai River gets higher

Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2002

Due to flooding caused by a Skilak glacial lake outburst, the state Department of Natural Resources advised boaters to stay off the Kenai River until water levels subside.

An overflight of the lake Tuesday confirmed that it released sometime Saturday or earlier.

By Wednesday afternoon, the river level at Kenai Keys in Sterling was 11.9 feet and rising. At Soldotna, the water level was at 11.3 feet and also slowly rising. Minor flood stage at Kenai Keys and Soldotna is 12 feet.

Kenai Keys resident Al Goings said floodwaters began coming across the main entrance road to the subdivision at about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The National Weather Service said flood crests should occur over the weekend near 13 feet at Kenai Keys and 12.5 feet at Soldotna.

A flood warning remains in effect for Skilak Lake and the lower Kenai River through 4 p.m. Monday.

DNR said impacts from boat wakes at the high water levels can cause excessive damage to saturated soils, causing loss of riparian habitat and damage to private property.

Boaters who choose to be on the river are warned of potential hazards in the water such as flood-borne trees and wads of tree roots. They are urged to use channels in the center of the river to minimize boat-wake erosion.

A chance of rain or snow is forecast for tonight and Friday with low temperatures in the upper 20s to mid 30s tonight and highs Friday in the mid 30s to low 40s.

The chance of rain or snow remains in the forecast through Monday.

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