Labor Day deluge caps summer that's second coolest on record

Posted: Tuesday, September 05, 2000

If August seemed a bit wetter than normal, it was.

But when you consider Labor Day's deluge dumped close to one-half the amount of rain recorded in all of August, then "a bit wet" looks pretty good.

Richard Blizzard of the National Weather Service said Juneau's August rainfall, at 6.08 inches, was only about three-quarters of an inch more than the average. On Monday, a full 2.74 inches fell at the weather observatory on Back Loop Road, though the airport (1.53 inches) and downtown (1.96) recorded substantially less.

Blizzard said the summer was marked by more cool conditions than wet ones.

"We only reached 73 (degrees) three times officially at the airport all summer," he said. "There's only one other cooler summer on record where we reached it only once. As far as moisture it was pretty much average."

Monday's heavy rains didn't do much damage around town, said Blizzard, but there are two more weather systems that will hit Juneau in the next couple of days that could bring just as much rain.

"At Montana Creek, the water was close to lapping at the road, but it didn't come over (the bank) as far as we observed," Blizzard said. We do have another system tonight that will bring additional rainfall. This one's equally wet, and we'll be closely monitoring that. In the next 30 hours we could have another two inches, and then there's another one on the heels of that. So we're in a wet period for sure."

Mike Scott of the city Department of Public Works said a couple more downfalls like Monday's could result in some problems.

"We always have the likelihood of some culverts plugging up from leaves and debris. Generally it's driveway culverts," he said, adding many problems could be eliminated if people would make sure their culverts are cleared for water drainage.

Scott said the city will keep its eye on traditional problem areas such as Duck Creek and steep inclines prone to landslides.

"Yesterday we didn't have any problems, but we were close," he said.

The only major problem the state Department of Transportation and Secon Inc. had was inactivity.

Construction efforts on the resurfacing and expansion of Egan Drive came to a dead halt on Sunday evening, said Chuck Correa, regional construction chief at the Department of Transportation.

"We did (resurface) all the way from down by 2 Mile through to Sunny Point there in that last stretch of decent weather," Correa said, referring to the sunshine Juneau enjoyed late last week. "And we wrapped up several intersections."

But he added it will take two more full days to complete the job. He's seen the forecast, and knows the next couple of days don't look good.

"But next weekend, if we got a break we could get it done," he said. "The last forecast I saw, there may be a glimmer of hope by Saturday."

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