flooding

A rare November Breakup on the Kuskokwim River near Napaimute. Photo Courtesy of Mark Leary

A rare November Breakup on the Kuskokwim River near Napaimute. Photo Courtesy of Mark Leary

The Kuskokwim River in Southwest Alaska is experiencing a rare November breakup. Temperatures were cold in early November but over the past several days, temperatures have reached into the 40s and even the 50s in some places along the river.

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Ice floating down the Kuskokwim River at Bethel, AK. By Daysha Eaton

Ice floating down the Kuskokwim River at Bethel, AK. By Daysha Eaton

The Kuskokwim River breakup went smoothly this year with no major flooding. The official time for breakup in Bethel was 5pm Friday. River Watch Program officials are calling it a thermal breakup, or mush out.

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Kuskokwim River ice with surface water taken from the seawall. (Photo courtesy of Charles Enoch)

Kuskokwim River ice with surface water taken from the seawall. (Photo courtesy of Charles Enoch)

The Alaska Pacific River Forecast Center predicts the Kuskowkim will break up at Bethel between May 9th and May 15th. That range is right around the historical average of May 12th. But after a warm winter with little snow, the Forecast Center says this year’s breakup could happen in one of several ways.

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