Update (Monday, 12:56 p.m.) — Scott Burton, KTOO
The Gold Creek Flume Trail was supposed to reopen to foot traffic Monday. However, heavy rain over the weekend caused landslides which damaged two parts of the trail. Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. estimates the cleanup and repair will take four weeks. (Read more.)
“We anticipate being able to supply all of our firm customers through fall and winter with hydro,” said Debbie Driscoll, Alaska Electric Light and Power Co. vice president and director of consumer affairs on Monday’s “Juneau Afternoon.”
“Firm” customers include houses and businesses as opposed to “interruptible” customers like Greens Creek Mine and cruise ships who can supply their own power when needed.
“Our reservoirs are above where we were last year, but we’re still below normal,” said Driscoll. “We’re at about 85% of normal out at Snettisham (Hydroelectric Project). We still have our interruptible customers disconnected to preserve hydro for our firm customers,” said Driscoll.
While Snettisham provides about 70% of Juneau’s hydropower, it is augmented by Lake Dorothy (17%), Annex Creek (6%), Salmon Creek (6%) and Gold Creek (1%), Driscoll said.
Gold Creek is a run-of-the-stream hydro facility that gleans water off the creek when there is enough water. After being diverted, water runs through the box-like flume until it is funneled into a penstock where it gains pressure to run the generator located in the metal building behind the Salvation Army Family Store.
The flume was initially built in 1896, though the recent version was built in 1912 and 1913 and repaired over the years, said Bryan Farrell, an AEL&P mechanical and generation engineer who was also on “Juneau Afternoon.”
Phase one of the flume’s rebuild, which began in April 2019, is just about done. It will reopen to foot traffic on Monday, Oct. 7. Phase two of construction will begin in April 2020 and is planned to conclude in October 2020.
Listen to the full interview below to hear more about the flume’s history and function, and how to travel on it safely in winter.
- The City and Borough of Juneau announced Katie Koester as the new public works and engineering director on Monday. Former Director Mike Vigue retired earlier this month.
- According to the U.S. Postal Service, White Mountain has been without regular postal deliveries since late October, after the rural Alaska community's postmaster left her position.
- There’s no mine yet at the Palmer Project site. But a small cadre of scientists live there for half the year, looking for minerals.
- An Anchorage dentist is on trial for felony criminal counts of Medicaid fraud and reckless endangerment over — among other allegations — performing dentistry while on a hoverboard.