This story was updated Tuesday after new flood advisories were released by the National Weather Service.
Updated flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service on Tuesday are forecasting flooding for areas in Soldotna on Wednesday.
Flood warnings were issued this weekend as a result of an outburst from a glacier dammed lake near Snow Glacier. Updated warnings were issued Monday and Tuesday after a second glacier dammed lake, near Skilak Glacier, also saw an outburst. Flooding is expected to continue along the Kenai River through this week, especially impacting the Kenai Keys near Sterling, Salmon Run Drive in Funny River and Big Eddy Road in Soldotna.
According to a flood warning updated Tuesday by the National Weather Service, water levels will continue to increase “throughout this week” on the Kenai River. The warning says that a crest of around 15 feet is expected to hit area below Skilak Lake around 10 a.m. on Wednesday — at which point the service forecasts “water inundates the Kenai Keys neighborhood.”
In the neighborhood, 12.6 feet is expected to be the crest. The warning says that historically, at around 11 feet the lowest lying garages saw water. At 12 feet, water starts to flow over the roads in the subdivision, and at just over 13 feet water becomes 2 feet deep over Kenai Keys Road. If the crest hits 13.5 feet, water would start to flow into garages and cabins in the subdivision.
The warning says that “inherent uncertainty” in initial glacier lake volume results in varying heights of crests.
On Tuesday, a new flood advisory was published for waters of the Kenai River downstream of the bridge in Soldotna. That advisory warns that roads in low-lying and poor drainage areas may see “minor flooding” until 10 p.m. on Thursday.
The advisory says that roads in the Big Eddy subdivision will have between a half foot to one foot of water over them, and surrounding areas may be inundated. Tuesday evening, around a half inch of water could be seen flowing over the road at one of its lowest points. “Isolated homes” near the Beaver Creek Outlet “may see some water,” and Pillars boat launch “will be nearly underwater,” the advisory says.
The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s Emergency Manager, Brenda Ahlberg, wrote Tuesday that the high waters are “estimated to recede by Sunday.” She said that the prolonged high waters are damaging home properties, and urged residents to avoid motorized boating and limit further damage to structures and to riverbanks.
The flood advisory issued for the areas near Soldotna is in effect through Thursday night, while the flood warning issued for Sterling and Funny River is in effect until Sunday, Sept. 17.
For updated warnings and forecasts, visit weather.gov/afc.