• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
News Alert: DIRECTV Customers. Tell DIRECTV to bring back KTVA. Call 800-531-5000. - Read More
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
1m 28s

Denali Park flooding strands more than 100

By KTVA CBS 11 News 5:19 PM June 26, 2014
ANCHORAGE –

Flooding and rockfall forced the closure of the road into Denali National Park and Preserve past the Eielson Visitor Center Thursday, marooning more than 100 people, officials said.

One hundred-plus people at the Denali Backcountry Lodge were evacuated to higher ground Thursday morning after “water began encroaching into buildings,” said Kris Fister, park spokesperson. No injuries had been reported Thursday evening as two helicopters  evacuated people.

Streams became “raging torrents” overnight along and across Denali Park Road after a torrential downpour, Fister said. At 4:30 a.m. Thursday, the National Park Service closed the park road beyond Wonder Lake because of flooding.

By 8:45 a.m., park managers had closed the road past the Eielson Visitor Center following “significant rockfall” at the Eielson Bluffs, which is about one to two miles west of the visitor center, Fister said. Much of the Kantishna airstrip was underwater Thursday and not usable by fixed-wing aircraft.

Officials said they would first airlift four stranded climbers on the south side of the McKinley River, which they’d been trying to get across for a few days. The climbers had been in contact with park officials, Fister said.

“They’re not desperate, but they’re out of food at this point,” she said Thursday evening.

After helping the climbers, park officials would assist a stranded employee and then lodge guests, Fister said.

Fister said she was glad no one was in immediate danger, but realized guests probably didn’t want to be stuck at a lodge.

“We’re thankful at this point that everyone is safe,” she said. “But their Alaskan adventure is probably getting a little old at this point.”

Other guests and employees may also have to be evacuated, Fister said, and park officials hoped to have everyone who was displaced out by midnight.

Latest Stories

  • Politics

    Petraeus out of the running for national security adviser

    by Major Garrett / CBS News on Feb 19, 18:50

    Sources close to retired Gen. David Petraeus say the White House eliminated the former CIA director from consideration for the open national security adviser post after he weighed in on the job during a conference in Germany this week. ‎”Whoever it is that would agree to take that position certainly should do so with some very, […]

  • Sports

    Commentary: It’s been a wacky year for Alaska sports

    by Dave Goldman on Feb 19, 17:53

    Dave Goldman says these days, Alaska looks more like the Twilight Zone than a highlight zone.  Dave’s opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees. 

  • Weather

    Alaska Weather Forecast – Feb. 19, 2017

    by KTVA Weather on Feb 19, 17:51

    As you prepare for your work week, meteorologist Carlos Faura has a look at what weather conditions you can expect. Follow KTVA 11’s Weather Team on Facebook and Twitter. Got a weather-related photo or story idea? Email the team at weather@ktva.com.

  • News

    Alaska military personnel honored at ASYMCA banquet

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 19, 15:02

    A dozen outstanding Alaska military members were honored Saturday night at the Dena’ina Civic and Convention Center in an annual event. The annual Armed Services YMCA Salute to the Military recognizes 12 enlisted service members representing each branch of the military in Alaska, including active duty personnel, the National Guard and the reserves. Among this year’s […]

  • Politics

    Push for ride-share companies in Alaska hits speed bumps

    by Associated Press on Feb 19, 12:09

    The drive to allow ride-share companies like Uber and Lyft to operate in Alaska has hit speed bumps. The bill, from Anchorage Republican Sen. Mia Costello, faces opposition from taxi operators worried the entrance of ride-share groups will drive down wages for their drivers and from municipalities that don’t want to cede regulation to the […]

  • News

    City of Bethel will provide free water deliveries to the Winter House through March

    by Adrian Wagner/KYUK on Feb 19, 12:07

    The Bethel City Council agreed Tuesday to provide free water deliveries to Bethel Winter House, Bethel’s homeless shelter, for the remainder of their season, according to a story published by KYUK Public Media. Bethel Winter House director Eva Malvich had made the request at the last council meeting, saying the shelter had run out of water several times and […]

  • News

    Pothole mosaics: Street art that fills a need

    by CBS News on Feb 19, 12:05

    Potholes are the bane of many a driver’s existence this time of year, except for a Chicago man who’s turned them into a ROAD SHOW. Here’s Lee Cowan: The light at the end of our long winter tunnel is ahead. But so are the calling cards winter leaves behind: the black holes of the asphalt […]

  • News

    Commission: ‘Systemic racism’ at root of Flint water crisis

    by Associated Press on Feb 19, 11:11

    Michigan civil rights officials say “systemic racism” going back decades is at the core of problems that caused a lead-contaminated water crisis in the majority black city of Flint. The Michigan Civil Rights Commission issued a 130-page report Friday following three public hearings and other meetings to determine whether residents faced discrimination or racial bias. […]