The River Watch program started Thursday on the Kuskokwim. The program conducts daily aerial surveys of the river ice and is a joint venture between the state and the federal governments. The program flew the middle river area May 16, from Stony River down to Birch Crossing below Aniak. Karl Edwards was on the flight. He’s an emergency management specialist with Homeland Security and Emergency Management. He says there’s still a lot of ice on the middle river.
There is a moderate chance for flooding on the Kuskokwim this year as there is still thick ice present and some snow left in the mountains. If temperatures warm up quickly, there could be a dynamic breakup with flooding. But if temperatures remain cold, breakup could stretch out for days creating a thermal breakup and little flooding.