PALMER — Just when they thought it was all over, a week’s wroth of rains sent rivers rising again over the weekend.
“Public Works reports that Yoder Road and Schrock Road at the Little Su Bridge are impassable due to flooding,” read a Mat-Su Borough press release sent out Friday.
Yoder Road gained the dubious distinction of possibly being the only road to get washed away twice this summer. Borough emergency manager Casey Cook said that flooding also hit Kalispell Road in Talkeetna and Moose Meadows Drive north of Schrock was underwater. Firefighters were out there laying sandbags over the weekend.
In Butte, water was on the Old Glenn Highway near Mile 3, Cook said, and there was actually a landslide near Mile 3.2 of that road.
Also, a new event caused by this year’s flooding — Klutina Drive in Big Lake, which has flooded before, just not this year before now.
The borough reactivated its Emergency Operations Center with a skeleton crew running the show Saturday.
“We left it standing up, but everybody went home and we just monitored it throughout the night,” Cook said.
By Monday, all of that was more or less over with. And with weather forecasts predicting a break starting today, emergency officials were crossing their fingers and knocking on wood as it looked like the relapse was almost over.
“It seems to be dropping,” Cook said. “No more reports of active flooding from any of the rivers.”
An update from the borough at around 3 p.m., Monday says that Yoder and Kalispell remained closed, but Kenny Boulevard, closed since the first round of flooding, was open; however, people are advised to stay off if they can as “contractors are working in rough, wet conditions.”
Sushana Road was open, but with one lane barricaded due to water. Also, Susitna Landing was re-opened with a temporary repair allowing for two-lane traffic.
Cook said rivers weren’t the problem this time around so much as groundwater.
“Right now we’re dealing with groundwater flooding people’s basements and leech fields and septic tanks,” he said.
The ground is just so thoroughly saturated that water is creeping in. Cook said people who are getting flooded should do like their neighbors who had rivers running over their property — call the state’s individual assistance program and make a claim.
Not only are they likely to qualify for money to help rebuild, but having people make claims will help create a clearer picture of just how many were affected by the flood, which has been declared a disaster in Mat-Su and Kenai.
The number for the disaster assistance program is 1-855-445-7131. Folks can also make a claim in person from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following places:
• Willow Community Center on Tuesday and Wednesday.
• Upper Susitna Senior Center on Tuesday.
• Cottonwood Fire Station on Seward Meridian Parkway on Thursday and Friday.
Contact reporter Andrew Wellner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-2270.