Flooding Threatens Villages Downriver of Kuskokwim
A 20-mile run of ice has jammed two miles from Aniak. Once the holding ice begins to move, it is expected to jam and force the water surrounding Aniak to rise.
Tonight on the Kuskokwim River, danger has subsided in Crooked Creek but heightens for nearby Aniak.
A 20-mile run of ice has stopped two miles upstream from Aniak, which could soon cause flooding in the community.
River watch teams have been flying the Kuskokwim multiple times a day, radioing detailed accounts of every little ice movement.
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the dike in Aniak is structurally unacceptable.
The dike is riddled with animal burrows, vehicle ruts, and the biggest problem: trees. Ron Powell, Aniak city manager, said, “The root balls grow and it just opens up areas underneath. People think that this would be holding this together, and it is the exact opposite- it opens up channels to allow moisture and water into this thing and then it just starts splitting it."”
If the dike does split it will cause huge problems for Aniak when it’s hit with the 20-mile run of ice.
“Hopefully this levee will hold. If it doesn’t, our town is underwater, the airport is underwater, and we are all going to be living at the high school,” Powell said.