Aniak jam released, ice moves below Tuluksak

by Angela Denning-Barnes on May 11, 2012

Breakup is slow at Napaskiak, May 10. Photo by Karl Edwards, DHS&EM

The jam that was holding for several days below Aniak released Wednesday night and Thursday morning. That ice has joined up with the jam that was holding near the bluffs below Kalskag, and according to Bethel Search and Rescue, the area became inundated with high water, covering islands. The village of Tuluksak, which already has high water, is waiting to see if it will get worse once the water heads their way. Kwethluk is also on alert for possible flooding.

An evacuation plan is in place if needed in Tuluksak, according to BSAR. The local volunteer group along with local villages, AVCP, YKHC, the State Emergency Management Service, and the National Weather Service have been meeting regularly to help keep residents informed about possible flooding.

By Friday morning, ice at Akiak had moved about a quarter mile downriver and ice at Akiachak also moved down and started to stack, with long sheets of ice turning sideways.

Search and Rescue is warning residents that flooding could happen suddenly if there is shifting and jamming anywhere on the lower river.

According to National Weather Service Hydrologist, Ben Balk, there continues to be a lot of shifting below Tuluksak:

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