• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
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

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

  • DayBreak

    Workforce Wednesday: Aviation careers

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 12:37

    From pilots and dispatchers to air traffic controllers, the Alaska labor department projects the need for more than 4,000 workers in the aviation sector over the next few years. Cari-Ann Ketterling with the Alaska Process Industry Careers Consortium (APICC) and Ravn Alaska’s Chief Pilot, Aaron Rocereta, joined Daybreak Wednesday to talk aviation careers. “The aviation field […]

  • News

    Alaska, British Columbia leaders sign cooperative agreement

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 12:10

    Gov. Bill Walker and British Columbia Premier Christy Clark have signed a cooperative agreement, committing to work together on issues of shared interest, including the ongoing discussion over Canadian mining impacts on Alaska waters. The non-binding memorandum of understanding was signed Wednesday. In a release, Walker said it’s important the state foster good relationships with […]

  • DayBreak

    Medical Myths: The real and imagined risks with vaccines

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 11:08

    Physicians and health officials have been battling misconceptions about vaccines over the past several years. Many parents are now choosing not to get their children vaccinated — a move, doctors say, that prompted the recent measles outbreak at Disneyland over the summer. Wednesday, Dr. Michael Reeves, a family physician at Medical Park Family Care, joined […]

  • Sports

    Making Waves: Pepperdine’s Ogwumike leads the climb back

    by Dave Goldman on Nov 25, 10:55

    Erica Ogwumike is blazing her own path in Malibu. The freshman guard is leading the rebuild of the Pepperdine University’s women’s basketball program. “I’m just trying to play these four years, play basketball, and get a great degree at Pepperdine University, so that’s all I can — the future is far,” she said. There’s another […]

  • DayBreak

    6th annual ‘The Pour’ event helps feed the hungry in Anchorage

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 10:17

    Helping feed the hungry by celebrating the flavors of the season — the 6th annual “The Pour” event is a fundraiser for Bean’s Café and the Children’s Lunchbox. On Thursday, Dec. 3, people are invited to the Alaska Native Heritage Center for some fine wine, craft beer and gourmet food. Dana Applebee, event chair or […]

  • Crime

    Not guilty plea entered in rural Alaska abduction case

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 9:55

    A not guilty plea has been entered in the case of a man accused of repeatedly raping a woman and holding her captive for five weeks in Alaska. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/4IJCFS) reported that 37-year-old Daniel Selovich of Manley Springs was arraigned Tuesday in Fairbanks Superior Court, where his public defender entered the plea […]

  • News

    Alaska wants Fairbanks area split into 2 air quality zones

    by Associated Press on Nov 25, 7:50

    The state of Alaska is calling on the federal government to split Fairbanks and North Pole into separate smoke pollution non-attainment areas. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports (http://bit.ly/1PNxtJE) that the state’s request comes as the Fairbanks North Star Borough faces tougher rules for smoke emissions, mainly due to worsening emissions in the North Pole area. […]

  • News

    Freezing rain closes schools again in Mat-Su Borough

    by Daybreak Staff on Nov 25, 5:52

    The following schools will be closed today, Nov. 25, due to freezing rain, according to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District: * Willow Elementary * Trapper Creek Elementary * Talkeetna Elementary * Su-Valley Junior, Senior High * Houston Middle and High School * Big Lake Elementary * Beryozova K-12 School All but one school was closed yesterday […]