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Rains flood Mendenhall Lake

Flood warning for lake, river cancelled

Posted: August 22, 2011 - 5:07pm  |  Updated: August 22, 2011 - 10:01pm
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Judy LaRochelle, with her dog Sparky, views and photographs the flooding on Mendenhall Lake in front of Skater's Cabin on Monday. There is a flood warning for the Mendenhall Lake and River until noon on Wednesday.   Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Judy LaRochelle, with her dog Sparky, views and photographs the flooding on Mendenhall Lake in front of Skater's Cabin on Monday. There is a flood warning for the Mendenhall Lake and River until noon on Wednesday.

Editor's note: The flood warning issued for the Mendenhall Lake and river areas was cancelled Tuesday morning.

•••

The weekend’s heavy rains have pushed the waters of Mendenhall Lake up substantially. A flood warning is in effect until noon Wednesday.

The National Weather Service in Juneau measured the flooding waters regularly. The lake was at 10.05 feet around 3 p.m. on Monday. This officially put it in the moderate flood stage category.

The river at the Back Loop was at 12 feet at 1:30 p.m., which was in the minor flood stage.

Hydrometeorological Technician Geri Swanson said the road at the lake at Skater’s Cabin was closed off and the lower camp sites had all flooded.

She added the airport has received 2.58 inches over the weekend in to Monday.

“All this flooding is due to the rainfall we’ve had basically over the last three days,” she said.

She said the flooding was confined to the lake area and the houses around it as of Monday afternoon.

Juneau City Manager Rod Swope said the city is staying on top of the flood potential. He said no extra measures need to be taken at this point because the latest reports do not indicate a need.

He said that roads by the lake and View Drive can be driven safely. He said they can see flooding and the city and police will be monitoring them if this happens and further action is necessary.

“I’ve asked dispatch to call in if things get worse,” he said.

Swanson said no major damage or injuries had been reported locally on Monday. She said there was a preliminary report that morning of a mudslide in Petersburg where 1,000 cubic yards of mud slid down the Hammer Slough area

Swanson warns anyone who sees flooding on the road to not go into it. Anyone with new flooding information can call the National Weather Service at 790-6800.

Swope said people need to stay vigilant on the roads.

Swanson said the waters at Mendenhall Lake are expected to go below flood stages when the warning ends Wednesday. She said light rain is expected through Tuesday.

• Contact reporter Jonathan Grass at 523-2276 or at jonathan.grass@juneauempire.com.

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