Flood advisory prompted by heavy rains

By August 22, 2011Outdoors

Heavy rainfall over the weekend causes high and turbulent water at Gold Creek - Photo by Casey Kelly/KTOO News

Mendenhall Lake and Mendenhall River are now at minor flood stage.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for both areas.

Mendenhall Lake was nearly at 9.7 feet last hour. The river was over 11.8 feet.

Hydrometeorological technician Geri Swanson says they expect water levels to continue rising a bit.

“Right now with the continued rainfall, we’re looking for the crest hopefully within the next six to twelve hours,” said Swanson. “And then (we’ll be) seeing a gradual decrease though the night and tomorrow.”

Swanson says water has come up to the lower part of the Mendenhall Lake Campground and a yard of a house on View Drive. Part of the road to Skater’s Cabin is closed.

But the Swanson doesn’t expect water levels to get as high as this summer’s glacial outburst. Rainfall has already started tapering off.

Official observations at the Juneau Airport recorded 2.17 inches for the weekend’s rainfall. Swanson says it’s almost 2.75 inches including today’s rainfall.

Other areas in Juneau may have more or less. For instance, a rain gauge in the downtown Juneau area recorded a total of 4.18 inches from Friday until Monday morning.

The Taku River crested at just over 39 feet over the weekend, four feet short of flood stage.

Montana Creek also briefly flooded Saturday, but water levels have already trended down. Swanson says that stream is more susceptible to sudden heavy downpours instead of steady constant rainfall.

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