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Salmon Creek Dam warning test scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday

Posted: October 23, 2012 - 12:05am

Alaska Electric Light and Power plans to give its Salmon Creek evacuation siren a shake down Thursday at 9 a.m. The siren was installed to warn residents and businesses in the Salmon Creek flood plain of a dam breach.

The test will run for about five minutes.

“The Evacuation Siren is only used for Condition Red which would mean the dam has failed,” Debbie Ferreira VP and director of consumer affairs for AEL&P said. “Evacuate immediately.”

Should the dam break, Salmon Creek would rise slowly eventually flooding the area below the hospital.

As the dam has not failed, the siren system has never been activated in an emergency.

The horns for the siren system were replaced in 2001 when it was found they were not loud enough to cover the emergency area.

In the past, AEL&P conducted a silent test of the system, with speakers disconnected.

“We then started testing the siren audibly to ensure proper function of the siren as well as to familiarize people in the flood plain area with the sound,” Ferreira said. “If an emergency did arise they would recognize the sound and respond immediately.”

Should a breach occur people on Hospital Drive, Sleepy Spruce and Salmon Creek Lane are asked to evacuate to the hospital while people on east side of Salmon Creek should evacuate to Jack's Plumbing. People in the area of the Department of Transportation building are to evacuate to the downtown armory.

Salmon Creek Dam is located about two miles above Gastineau Channel. Built between July 1913 and August 1914 as a hydroelectric project, the dam became a source of city water in the 1980s.

For more information about Salmon Creek emergency procedures contact AEL&P at 780-2222 or visit www.aelp.com.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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