In the past 24 hours, nearly 6 inches of rain has fallen at the Ketchikan airport. This extraordinary rainfall has caused flooding in the area, forcing many out of their homes.
Ketchikan Creek spilled outside of the dam Tuesday night, forcing water into the streets. This is definitely “more water than we’re used to having,” says Jon Dorman, Ketchikan assistant fire chief.
“We had a little localized flooding that has subsided now,” said Dorman, adding that the high tide has started to go back out. “So we’ve evacuated maybe 15 people at this point.”
Most of those residents were from an apartment building in the area, Dorman says, adding that a shelter at the recreation center has been opened for those who’ve evacuated their homes.
A flash flood watch was initially issued as there was a concern that the water level may get high enough for a greater flood threat, according to the National Weather Service. The watch will likely be changed to an advisory as water levels behind the dam have been stabilized and are expected to slowly fall.
Dorman says, so far, the extent of the damage is unknown because the water in the area is still so high.
The video below is from Ketchikan resident Tracy Brown’s Facebook page, who says the area around Park Avenue, Harris Street and Fremont Street have been hit the hardest.
Wednesday morning, Sen. Lisa Murkowski sent her regards to the residents of Ketchikan via Twitter.
My thoughts are in Ketchikan…Ketchikan Creek is the highest folks have ever seen and rain keeps falling. Stay safe! pic.twitter.com/XQxgdoLc0I
— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) January 21, 2015