by Diana Haecker ~ May 10th, 2011
The Susitna River reportedly broke free of ice Tuesday morning with no major ice jams or flooding to speak of. The National Weather Service River Forecast center issued no warning for the Susitna River. Donnie Billington lives seven miles up the tracks and observed that the Susitna River ran high this morning, from bank to bank. He said that the river was still frozen Monday, and that today around 7:30 a.m. it cut loose with pancake ice chunks floating downriver. Billington observed about 15 feet of ice pushed off against the side, but that no jams occurred at the 90 degree bends downstream from his house. So far, no flooding has been reported.
Talkeetna Air Taxi pilot Bill Post flew over the river today and reports that it is flowing freely, with no ice jams, but that there still are a lot of ice chunks in the river this afternoon. In Swentna, the river broke up on May 5 and is flowing with still some ice chunks coming down.
The National Weather Service also reports that this winter saw below normal snowpack throughout south central and southwest Alaska. The river forecast center rates the flood potential for the Susitna, Yentna and Swentna Rivers low.