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Mayor Declares Local Disaster Emergency Following South Kenai Flooding

Published On: Dec 24 2013 09:41:21 AM AKST   Updated On: Oct 29 2013 03:01:51 PM AKDT
Flooding South of Kenai Affects Homes, Drivers

UPDATED 2:56 p.m. Oct. 29, 2013

In a Tuesday afternoon statement Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre signed a local disaster emergency declaration stating "due to the unseasonably heavy rain and elevated ground water that have resulted in the flooding of many homes, properties and roads throughout the Kenai Peninsula Borough."

The declaration has been sent to the Alaska Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Management, which will be reviewed by appropriate staff and forwarded to Governor Parnell for consideration.

Original story:

Kenai Peninsula Borough officials are asking drivers near part of Kalifornsky Beach Road to exercise extreme caution, after flooding in the area south of Kenai Monday.

Brenda Ahlberg, a community and fiscal projects manager with the borough, says in a Monday advisory that water in neighborhoods near the road from Mile 11 to 14 may pose a hazard to vehicles.

“Several of the roads have standing water in the roadways, culverts and ditches,” Ahlberg wrote. “Use extreme caution or limit your entry in or out of these areas.”

In addition to driving carefully, borough officials say motorists should only enter some areas in vehicles capable of traversing them.

“Access should be limited only to four-wheel-drive or ATV vehicles when necessary,” Ahlberg wrote. “Never drive in conditions beyond the limits of your visibility, including standing water where the depths are unknown.”

“The following roads have dangerous, standing water conditions: Bore Tide, Kalugin, Ebb Tide, Karluk, Buoy, Green Forest, Bore Tide Court, Eider, Patrick, Eastway, Seabiscuit, Skiff Court, Trawling, Dogfish, Westway (off of Karluk),” Ahlberg wrote.

Ahlberg says the same roads are still affected by the flooding Tuesday.

“We want folks to continue to use extreme caution when traveling in the area,” Ahlberg said.

According to Ahlberg, ground in the area is “like a huge sponge,” which has led to surface water and sheeting that hasn’t abated.

“The water wants to go down but it can’t, so it’s percolating up and that’s why there’s flooding,” Ahlberg said.

While no residents in the region have requested assistance from the borough, some families have reportedly requested temporary assistance from the Red Cross due to side effects from waters near their homes.

“There’s about 40 families that are seeing septic or oil flooding,” Ahlberg said.

This is a developing story. Please check and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.