Juneau residents and roads dry out after record rains

Nat Nipataruedi points out a flooded culvert along the Jordan Creek near her home on Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)
Nat Nipataruedi points out a flooded culvert along Jordan Creek near her home on Oct. 29, 2017. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

As the Juneau area dried out over the weekend, residents were able to take stock of the damage from Friday’s record-setting rain.

According to the National Weather Service, a total of 3.3 inches of rain fell on downtown Juneau over a 24-hour period Friday. Juneau International Airport saw 2.51 inches. Water pooled in some parking lots downtown and in the Valley before it drained off.

No injuries were reported.

Mud sits in the parking lot at Warners Wharf on Oct. 28, the day after heavy rains flooded part of the lot. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)
Mud sits in the parking lot at Warners Wharf on Oct. 28, a day after heavy rains flooded part of the lot. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

One of the areas most affected by the storm was the neighborhood surrounding Jordan Creek. The creek crested at 11 feet Friday, higher than ever previously reported.

Nat Nipataruedi lives on Cascade Street near Jordan Creek. Her yard and the crawl space under her house flooded Friday. She said she has never seen the creek that high in the 12 years she and her family have lived in the neighborhood.

“And there was so much water flowing out of Jordan Creek and it was so high that it was actually backing up on Glacier Highway, where cars would have to slow down or move to the middle of the road because they were afraid of being submerged when they were driving,” Nipataruedi said.

Nipataruedi said water filled the crawl space beneath her house before she and her husband were able to rig up their pump. They had to pump the water into their bath tub at first since the area around their house was flooded. By Saturday morning, the yard had drained. As of Sunday, the crawl space was still a work in progress.

“We’re scared of mold, that’s what we’re scared of is that the humidity and all the wetness is gonna get into the insulation, into the wood of the joists and all that underneath and we’re gonna get a mold problem. And we can’t have that,” said Nipataruedi.

Fire Chief Richard Etheridge said Capital City Fire/Rescue responded to a number of calls for minor mudslides on roads Friday. He could not remember seeing creeks this high in recent years.

Caution tape blocks off the entrance to the Flume Trail off Basin Road on Oct. 28, 2017. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)
Caution tape blocks off the entrance to the Flume Trail off Basin Road on Oct. 28, 2017. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

“It’s not unheard of, we had some flooding like this some years ago … real similar flooding, especially out in the valley,” Etheridge said. “But this is the first time, you know, this administration has dealt with some widespread flooding like that here in the valley.”

The Flume Trail along Gold Creek remained closed Sunday. AEL&P said in a tweet Saturday that the trail sustained storm damage and was closed to non-essential traffic until it could be repaired.

Friday’s rains were the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Lan.

Site notifications
Update notification options
Subscribe to notifications