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Year-Round Flooding; Residents Call for Action

By Mallory Peebles, Crime and Law Enforcement, Natural Resources and Parks Reporter, Fill-in Anchor, mpeebles@ktuu.com
Published On: Dec 13 2013 10:30:06 PM AKST
Updated On: Dec 13 2013 10:37:01 PM AKST

For years residents who live along Chester Creek near Valley of the Moon Park have been dealing with flooding. They are hopeful that the city is finally listening to their pleas for a fix. 

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

Valley of the Moon residents are rallying together to ask the Municipality to take action against flooding at Chester Creek. Just last week, flood waters penetrated the lower levels of at least two homes.

Friday about 7 homeowners met with Anchorage Assembly Members to express their frustration with the issue. 

"You see I love the trail and most everybody I know loves the trail but you see when they built it, it changed the flow of the creek," said Leah Hoffman.

For 40 years Leah Hoffman has lived closest to where Chester Creek goes under Arctic Boulevard via culvert. Neighbors say she's like the canary in a coal mine. Hoffman is the first one to see flooding when the water gets backed up and immediately calls the city and then warns her neighbors. 

Then she checks on the sump pumps she had installed in the 90's. She says the last 4 years flooding has been especially bad. That's about the time Jen Clark and her family moved in down the street.

Clark says early one morning in 2009 her daughter went downstairs to check on the cat's food and stepped into 4 inches of cold creek water. 

Clark says since then, what was supposed to be a library and playroom has turned into storage. With 2 kids and pets, she's worried about safety. 

"They're not allowed down here where they're alone," said Clark. "...It's just obviously not a live-able space and there's a lot of stuff they could get into."

The Municipality of Anchorage Public Works General Foreman Paul Vanlandingham says it is looking into issue and did install additional culverts. He says internally the department is reviewing recommendations from a study about the issue. He says options include replacing the culvert with a larger one, creating a bridge or realigning the creek. 

Neighbors want a long-term solution to be put into action soon before more flooding damages their homes.