UPDATE - Flood warning for Mendenhall Lake and river extended
A flood warning for Mendenhall Lake and the Mendenhall River is in effect now through 10 tonight.
It was originally scheduled to end at Noon but was extended late this morning by the National Weather Service.
According to the National Weather Service, as of about 1:00 this afternoon, the water level in the river is at 12.90 feet and falling. Minor flood stage is 11.5 feet while moderate flood stage is 12.5 feet.
The lake level dropped from 10.90 at that time to 9.66 feet as of after 3:00 P.M.. Minor flood stage is 9 feet and moderate flood stage is 10 feet.
In addition, the weather service says they're told the flow of the water falls at Mendenhall Glacier has slowed.
Tom Mattice, Emergency Management Officer for the City and Borough of Juneau said the source of the flooding was discovered during an air-trip over the ice fields.
Mattice said that the lower basin near Suicide Falls had been dammed up and the basin had completely flooded based on the high water lines.
He said the water has fallen noticeably but the glacier may have levitated and then sank 180 feet. (photo by Jeanne Josephson)
According to Mattice, all accounts indicate that water levels are falling in both the river and the lake.
An update from the City Clerk's office has indicated that View Drive and the Brotherhood Bridge Trial, both of which had been closed due to the flooding, have been re-opened as flood waters recede. City Manager Rod Swope said several residents near View Dr. had been asked to vacate their homes to avoid being isolated.
The City and Borough of Juneau is asking residents to stay away from the banks of the Mendenhall River during flooding.
Swope says the banks are unstable and could give way easily.
He advises avoiding getting close to the river. "If they get into that water, there's not much of a chance we're going to be able to save them," he says.
He says Capital City Fire Rescue has its Swift River Rescue crew ready in case they're needed.
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