Wednesday, May 29, 2013

National Guard called to evacuate flooded Alaska town

A massive ice jam on the Yukon River sent a flood of water into Galena, Alaska, inundating most of the town and forcing the evacuation of nearly the entire population.

“I think the majority of the folks have been evacuated from the village,” Dave Streubel, National Weather Service hydrologist, told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday afternoon as floodwaters approached the last lifeline to the isolated village -- the airport.

Water was backed up 40 to 50 miles behind the large ice jam at a sharp bend in the river known as Bishop Point, 15 miles downriver from Galena, and most of the town was flooded, Streubel said.

“Pretty much the entire village is under water, except for an area around the old Air Force runway, which the Air Force had built a dike around, and the water is up to 6 inches [from] going over the dike and flooding the runway,” he said.,0,2891601.story