More than half of Galena’s 400 residents have evacuated as flooding from an ice jam on the Yukon River worsened yesterday. Power has been shut off as a precaution, there is no city water available.
Jeremy Zidek with the State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management says a dyke that protects the airport has been breached but the runway is still usable. At least two helicopters have been sent to the community. He says no injuries have been reported.
Ed Plumb is a hydrologist with the National Weather Service. Plumb has been in Galena for the past few days, taking frequent flights to check the condition of the ice jam at Bishop Rock. He says the river level has fluctuated as the ice moves and compacts.
- Mayor Ken Koelsch, Debbie White and Mary Becker opposed it. Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis was on a scratchy phone connection and did not respond to the roll call to vote.
- The proposal for a 130-unit high-rise apartment building to be built over a downtown city parking lot has alarmed some community members. But city officials say there is no final plan and closure of the deal is still months away.
- “Things have to have an endpoint to it, or they have to have something that keeps directing you, telling you that you’re in the right area,” said troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters.
- The Department of the Interior announced today that 29 local Alaska governments would receive $29.7 million in Payment in Lieu of Taxes funds, or PILT.