Heavy rains clog culverts

Posted: Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Nearly three inches of rain fell on downtown Juneau between Sunday morning and Monday morning, causing a shoulder on Gastineau Avenue to wash out and a gravel slide on Thane Road.

The amount of water - 2.83 inches, according to the National Weather Service - is significant, but doesn't break the record of 4.38 inches for Sept. 8, 1960.

"It does get pretty close to the high end of the totals," said meteorologist Brian Tassia.

City Street Superintendent Mike Scott said there has been some localized flooding, which is common when rainfall nears three inches in a 24-hour period.

"It certainly did cause some concern early this morning. We had a little washout on one shoulder of the road that we're currently in the process of filling in at the end of Gastineau Avenue," Scott said.

Scott said the washout was caused by streams coming off the highlands above the road. Crews are clearing culverts that have been clogged by sticks and leaves.

Tassia said all the rain is due to a slow-moving, low-pressure trough. "With the mountains here in the Juneau area, we've gotten a lot of high precipitation totals," he said.

Chris Morrow, director of construction, maintenance and operations for the state Department of Transportation, said crews have been clearing some slides on Thane Road, but nothing has blocked traffic.

The rain has been concentrated downtown. As of Monday morning, the Juneau airport received about 3.3 inches since Sept. 1, Tassia said. A weekly total for downtown was not available.

Weather service forecaster Carl Dierking said rain will continue throughout the week, with the most rain likely Wednesday.

Residents can notify the city of clogged culverts by calling 586-5246.

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