Thursday, May 14, 2009

Crow Village damage report

Lisa and David were able to catch a ride to Crow Village on May 13 to inspect the damage from the flood up close. The pictures taken have been added to the flood album which you can view at this link. As speculated before from various aerial recognizance reports, the support structure for the deck has given way, and the little house has moved off it's foundation into the woods. It appears that the support stilts for the big house have been tweaked. Look for an update from Lisa or David here shortly.

update: As suspected, the pilings for the big house were tweaked, however it shouldn't be too difficult to straighten those out. The water did not enter the big house, but came within inches of doing so. The insulation beneath the house is completely soaked and will need to be replaced. That is not a fun job. The damage to the deck was caused by ice flowing into it, however it is all repairable. The little house is mostly still intact except for the one window that is cracked. We may decide to re-set it right where it sits. There was evidence of much turbulence in the smoke house, however, it seems to be surprisingly intact.

A couple of items known to be missing are the washer, and the wooden swing. Also, the seat from the outhouse is missing, so that gives a good indication regarding the depth of the water there. There is still reading material available in that edifice, however it is soaked.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Kalskag report

Kalskag is 23 miles down river from Crow Village. The river issues there are possibly backing up to Crow Village. Here is the report from morning of May 7 on the Alaska River Forecast website:

The two ice jams between Aniak and Kalskag both released
this afternoon. The jam at the Kusko split (RM 167)
released and sent some of the ice down the Old River. This
surge likely helped push out the lower end of the Old River
so now it is freely flowing. The remainder of the ice went
down the main channel towards Kalskag. This run pushed down
the remaining ice sheets to Kalskag. The bottom end of the
jam below Lower Kalskag did peel off when the Old River blew
out. However the jam still holds and now backs up large
pans and sheets to a couple miles above Upper Kalskag.
About three miles of chunk ice is then stacked up behind the
pans/sheets to about 5 miles above Upper Kalskag. Water
levels have risen in Kalskag since the initial issuance of
the flood warning. The road between the airport and Lower
Kalskag is impassable with water levels encircling the
foundation of the old school that burned down. Flood waters
also cross the road between the airport and Upper Kalskag.
Minor flooding so far for Kalskag. On the detailed Kusko
maps, the back edge of the packed ice is right at 1st
Slough. This slough is taking much of the flow of the main
channel and bypassing Kalskag into the Old River...acting as
a little relief valve. The Birch Crossing jam also
released with a decent ice run heading downstream. During
our flight it had reached the split between the Old River
and main Kalskag channel. It looked like the ice run would
split down both channels. Earl just gave a late evening
report and it sounded like much of the ice run went down the
Old River after we left. Nonetheless, there is still a lot
of water above Kalskag so their flood levels may rise
overnight before the jam releases below Lower Kalskag.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crow Village impacted by flood

On the evening of May 5th, Rob Kinkade of Aniak Air Guides provide the first aerial view of the flood impact at Crow Village. The photographs show a high level of water in the village reaching the floor structure of the main building and steamhouse, inundating the out building, moving the small building, and some structural damage to the smoke house. It will likely be a week before an on site inspection can confirm extent of damage. Thankfully the decision was made to vacate prior to breakup. There are initial indications that remittance from state agencies will be forthcoming, however, we will be looking for volunteers to assist with the certain manual effort involved in remediation activities this summer. Look for an announcement on that in this blog on a later date.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Kuskokwim breakup causing flooding

This year's breakup of the Kuskokwim river is causing havok. The picture is of the ice reaching the top of the Dike in Aniak directly outside the "Driftnet", and anybody who has carried a cooler full of salmon up that dike will attest that this is significant. Some water has passed over the dike, and the latest report is that the level is starting to slowly drop, however that situation can improve or deteriate at any time. Over the weekend there was flooding and evacuation at Red Devel and Napaimute which are upstream from Aniak. More available at this link.