A Mat-Su Borough official says that his office has received the draft of the state-funded assessment of the Talkeetna Sewer and Water System. Terry Dolan, Director of Public Works for the borough, says that the report arrived while he was on leave last week. Dolan says there are two documents, one each for the sewer and water system. He says the total page count is somewhere around 500. Terry Dolan says he and other borough staff will be reviewing the draft report to ensure that it covers all of the areas requested. Of particular interest to many, including Dolan, is the financial analysis. The Talkeetna system is currently operating at a significant deficit, and one aspect that the contractor, CRW Enigneering Group, is tasked to look into is potential rate structures. The document is not yet publicly available, but CRW has said they do plan to present the findings of the assessment to the community in the form of a public meeting.
Posts from the 'Local News' category
A flood watch for the Upper Susitna Valley is now in effect through Saturday night. The flood advisory for the Talkeetna Mountains has been canceled. On Thursday afternoon, the Alaska-Pacific Forecast Center amended the previous advisory, saying that the Talkeetna River is now expected to remain within its banks after cresting on Thursday afternoon. The Susitna River is not currently forecast to flood, but it is now part of the flood advisory. Montana Creek has also risen significantly, but an area resident says that, as of Thursday afternoon, the road and bridge did not appear to be in jeopardy.
The River Forecast Center now expects rivers that drain the Alaska Range to be subject to flooding. Those include both the Yentna and the Skwentna. Both rivers are now forecast to reach moderate flood stage.
Denali National Park has also experienced significant rainfall, recently. The National Park Service has closed the Park Road past the Eielson Visitors Center at Mile 66. Additionally, the Denali Backcountry Lodge has been evacuated due to flooding. Fister says all guests are accounted for and are currently at another lodge on higher ground. She says that those guests as well as twelve Park Service employees cannot be transported by bus, due to high water on the road.
If flooding does occur in the Upper Valley, the National Weather Service reminds residents not to cross flooded roads. Casey Cook, Emergency Manager for the Mat-Su Borough, says that the borough will open access to sandbags stored at the Comsat Road building. Area residents wishing to obtain sandbags may obtain them by calling Cook’s borough office. He adds that, due to floodplain regulations and liability issues, the borough will not be able to deploy sandbags in the event of further flooding.
KTNA is continuing to monitor the situation on the Upper Valley’s rivers, and will provide updates as they become available.
On Wednesday morning, the Alaska State Trooper post in Talkeetna was notified of a missing kayaker. Dylan Asbury of Boise, Idaho, called the troopers to inform them that his kayaking partner, Borislov “Bobbie” Paunovski, had not made a scheduled meet-up at the confluence of Disappointment Creek and the Talkeetna River. Asbury continued to Clear Creek in order to use a telephone to contact troopers. Paunovski had survival gear, including a dry suit, gps, and a phone, but attempts to call him were unsuccessful.
As troopers were preparing to launch a helicopter to search for Paunovski, they were informed that a fixed-wing aircraft had spotted him. That airplane was flown by Eric Denkewalter of Talkeetna, who says he and river boat operator Steve Mahay were scouting for the possibility of a water-borne rescue. Denkewalter is the Assistant Chief of the Talkeetna Volunteer Fire Department, and Steve Mahay has extensive rescue experience on the Susitna drainage.
Talkeetna’s wildlife trooper was dispatched by boat to retrieve Paunovski. Both Dylan Asbury and Borislav Paunovski were returned to the Talkeetna boat launch. Neither required medical assistance.
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The Alaska-Pacific River Forecast Center is calling for the Talkeetna River to rise as high as minor flood stage, cresting Thursday evening. A storm system in the Alaska Range is expected to cause up to two-and-a-half inches of rain in the mountains. Earlier predictions called for the river to reach major flood stage, but hydrologists have backed off of that forecast, for now. The River Forecast Center says that there could be high water and debris as a result of the rising river.
KTNA will provide more information as it becomes available.
by: Liz Ruskin, APRN
Gov. Sean Parnell on Friday signed a bill to finance a $900 million bridge across Knik Arm, from Anchorage to Point McKenzie. Bridge proponents originally wanted to fund the project entirely with federal earmarks. But then Congress banned earmarks, in part due to public outrage over this bridge and another in Ketchikan, both derided nationally as “bridges to nowhere.” The new Knik bridge plan is contingent on low-interest loans from the federal government. APRN’s Liz Ruskin reports on the loan program the state is pinning its hopes on.
by: Alberto Garcia
Talkeetna’s Main Street is well known for its line-up of restaurants, bars and gift shops. However, where do people go to buy groceries, to get a coffee on-the-go or to buy a pack of cigarettes?
The one-stop place in Talkeetna where you will find all this and more is at the Historic Nagley’s General Store.
Nagley’s sits at the entrance of Main Street as Talkeetna Spur Road merges with Main Street and you are greeted by the “Welcome to Beautiful Downtown Talkeetna” sign. After turning left and going down the street about 50 feet, some picnic tables with umbrellas, a pay phone and a cat or two come into view. You have now arrived at Nagley’s (more…)
King salmon continue to return to the Susitna River drainage, including a boost on returns in the Little Susitna River. In an emergency order closing all fishing for kings on the Little Su last week, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game cited low water levels as part of the problem. Over the weekend, water levels at the counting weir rose more than a foot, allowing fish to escape upriver. The biggest jump came on Saturday, when more than 600 king salmon made it upriver. As of Tuesday, nearly 1,200 kings had passed the weir. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has not lifted the closure of king fishing on the Little Su.
On the Deshka River, numbers are much higher. More than 15,000 kings have been counted on the river. The biggest days were earlier in June, but Fish and Game still shows hundreds of fish passing the Deshka weir every day. Restrictions on the Deshka have been eased, meaning bait and multiple hooks are currently allowed. The low end of the total escapement goal was 13,000, and was surpassed last week.
On Tuesday, the Mat-Su Borough Assembly met. The Assembly approved adoption of a borough energy policy, and awarded the contract for the construction of the new Talkeetna Public Library and Community Center. The Assembly defeated an attempt to place an advisory question on the October borough ballot regarding zoning in the borough.
The first item for public hearing on Tuesday was a proposal for a borough energy policy. In essence, the policy represents a plan to make plans. The policy calls for increasing energy efficiency in the public and private sectors, as well as promoting energy education and other measures. The policy also directs the borough to promote development of renewable and alternative energy, while also developing more efficient use of fossil fuels. The policy broadly includes geothermal, wind, solar, hydroelectric, and other types of power under the “alternative” label, but does not endorse any specific projects. No members of the public spoke on the energy policy, and it passed unanimously. (more…)