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.
- The city thinks Hecla's Greens Creek mine may be responsible. The mine says its discharges in the area meet state requirements.
- Sarah Erkmann, external affairs manager for the Alaska Oil and Gas Association trade group, said the tax amounts to “punishing” oil companies.
- The Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon canceled its annual convention slated to be held in Haines, mainly due to the weak Canadian dollar.
- For now, traffic in Gastineau Channel will not be restricted, but Hilbert said they will likely establish a no-wake zone during the actual salvage operation.