Flash flooding closes stretch of Richardson Highway

A brown, raging creek seen from a bridge
High water levels at Ruby Creek, where flash flooding occurred. (Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities staff)

Flash flooding has closed a stretch of the Richardson Highway in the eastern Alaska Range.

The State Department of Transportation’s 511 site lists the highway as closed between Mile 218 and 234, in the Black Rapids area, south of Delta Junction. The department says the road is likely to remain closed through the weekend, depending on weather.

There are multiple damaged areas in need of repairs due to high waters that washed out bridges. Rain is in the forecast for the next few days, and mudslides are also a concern in some areas, according to the transportation department.

A video posted online by the department shows water gushing under bridges and a collapsed roadway.

A National Weather Service statement says snow melt caused by high freezing levels in the Alaska Range combined with heavy rains are resulting in high water. It says glacier-fed rivers like the Nabesna, Chisana and Tanana are running full and warns of possible flooding in low lying areas along the Tanana, including the Rosie Creek subdivision in Fairbanks.

KUAC - Fairbanks

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