Flood warnings dropped while river levels fall in Tanana Vally

Posted: Friday, August 18, 2000

FAIRBANKS - Water levels are receding along rivers in the Tanana Valley, easing the worries of nearby residents. Flood warnings on the Chena, Salcha and Tanana rivers were lifted Wednesday.

"For the potential we had coming at us, we've come out of it with minor damage," said Tim Biggane, emergency operations manager for the Fairbanks North Star Borough.

The Salcha River, which reached its highest level since 1986 on Tuesday, dropped more than two feet Wednesday. Water had filled yards beginning Monday night when the Salcha and Tanana rivers overflowed their banks.

The Tanana River crested at 24.8 feet in Fairbanks at 3 a.m. Wednesday but there were no major problems reported there. Most flooding came in common problem areas on the Chena and Tanana rivers.

Water still was flowing across Chena Hot Springs Road at Mile 37.2 Wednesday, but the road was open. It had been closed Monday and most of Tuesday.

Meteorologist Ted Fathauer of the National Weather Service said it would be at least a week before rivers and sloughs drop to levels they were at before last weekend's rainfall.

"The decline is about three times slower than the rise," said Fathauer.

The Interior also was expected to get additional rain this weekend.

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