Manley Hot Springs flooding from ice jam

 Photo of the Tanana River from an altitude of 93,131 feet / Photo courtesy by Night Crew Labs
Photo of the Tanana River from an altitude of 93,131 feet / Photo courtesy by Night Crew Labs (KTUU)
Published: May. 7, 2022 at 1:29 PM AKDT|Updated: May. 7, 2022 at 2:19 PM AKDT
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MANLEY HOT SPRINGS, Alaska (KTUU) - The Tanana River is flooding the village of Manley Hot Springs due to an ice jam approximately 10 miles down the river. Saturday night on his Twitter page, Gov. Mike Dunleavy posted, “I declared a disaster emergency for the Yukon Koyukuk Regional Education Attendance Area (REAA) due to a significant ice jam flood impacting Manley Hot Springs. The declaration directs all State of Alaska agencies to respond to this event.”

Fairbanks National Weather Service Observation Program Leader Craig Eckert said that power had been shut off in Manley Hot Springs and that water was approximately one foot deep throughout the village, according to reports from residents. The National Weather Service updated their flood warning for the area on Saturday morning.

“An ice jam has formed on the Tanana River downstream from Manley Hot Springs,” the flood warning said. “River observer in Manley Hot Springs reported significant flooding in Manley Hot Springs as water continues to rise along with ice flowing up through the slough. The observer reported that almost all roads in Manley are flooded and that several houses on the slough bank have water either in or surrounding them. Water is over the Elliott Highway across from the Manley Hot Springs bathhouse.”

The flood warning remains in effect until 6:00 p.m. Sunday. Eckert said that the flooding was being caused by a pinch point where the ice was jammed, backing up water down river from the ice jam.

“This is the second worst flooding ever,” Eckert said. “We believe, the locals there said this is the highest water level anybody’s seen in 45 years and so that, you know, it’s bigger than 2012 and then the record flood was in 1956.”

A FLOOD WARNING remains in effect through 6PM Sunday for the Tanana River at Manley Hot Springs. Major flooding is...

Posted by US National Weather Service Fairbanks Alaska on Saturday, May 7, 2022

Eckert said that the Civil Air Patrol was conducting an observation flight over the village.

The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management wrote in a Facebook post that over 50 residents have been moved to higher ground, and that the state Emergency Operations Center is responding.

The State Emergency Operations Center is staffed and is responding to flooding in Manley Hot Springs. An interagency...

Posted by Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management on Saturday, May 7, 2022

The National Weather Service also issued a flood watch for the Yukon River near Eagle.

This is a developing story. Check back later for updates.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include Gov. Dunleavy’s disaster declaration.

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