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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Breakup and Flooding

The Kuskokwim Ice Classic tripod officially tripped the clock at about 2am on Friday, May 8th. The river is completely open now in front of Bethel, although there is some ice jammed up along the far bank of the river. As of Friday, the river was 8.5ft above normal. The flood level is 7.0ft, so that means the water was 1.5 ft above the flood level. It rose a bit more before I took these pictures and it has risen even more today. I took these pictures yesterday after I got home from the airport. I went down to the river to check out the breakup party but it was already over. The river was only a few inches from the top of the river wall. Apparently it has reached the top and spilled over today. Can you see the little seagull in the picture below?
There is a little beach underneath all of this water...about 12 feet underneath it! Can you see the two little girls playing near the edge of the water on the right side of the picture? They were running around playing right near the edge of the water the whole time I was out there. I never saw a single adult/parent anywhere near to supervise them. It is so frustrating that parents dont watch over there children a bit better. Scary!
A pile of ice on the side of the river all jammed up. Last years breakup was nothing like this. It was more like a meltdown instead, so this is kind of cool and exciting.
Here is the view from the airplane coming into town last night. You can see how the ice gets jammed coming around the corner.

This is the road that I lived on last year. It is already under water and the flooding is just beginning. Thank goodness we didnt have flooding last year. What a pain that would be!
So, what do you do when your house is in the middle of the flood? See picture below for answer!We are too far away for any of the flooding to reach us. But hopefully it wont get much worse! I have heard rumors that the great Gov. Sarah Palin has already declared this area to be a natural disaster because of the ice jam up river, so if we do get major flooding we will be able to receive assistance. We'll see how it goes.

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