A glacier dam bursts and creates minor flooding on the Kenai

A glacier dam that gave approach round Sept. 19 at Snow River on the Kenai Peninsula is inflicting minor flooding and difficult Kenai River sport fishermen who in any other case could possibly be pulling in a single rainbow trout after one other.

The phenomenon known as a jökulhlaups, an Icelandic time period for a flood that instantly bursts from a glacier.

On the Kenai, water builds up behind Snow Glacier on the headwaters of the Snow River till lastly it breaks by means of, often each two years, in line with the Nationwide Climate Service. Soften water flows in tunnels by way of the glacier till ice plugs give method. The lake drains like a tub by way of the conduits into Snow River and ultimately the Kenai.

“What’s spectacular is the regularity of this stuff,” climate service meteorologist Eric Holloway stated in an e mail. The glacier features like a dam with out man-operated controls.

The flooding is minor, masking boat ramps and a few roads. Some driveways, outbuildings and a crawlspace have flooded, Nationwide Climate Service hydrologist Crane Johnson stated. However the company does not have studies of flooded essential homes. Two climate service staff went to the Kenai to evaluate the state of affairs.

Wanting SE over the Snow Glacier, Snow Lake is seen, Sept 19, 2017. The height to the appropriate is unnamed. Glacial soften water flowing in tunnels by way of Snow Glacier each couple of years breaks during from the lake to the toe of the glacier at Snow River. That lets the lake drain like a tub into the river, which flows into Kenai Lake and Kenai River. (Jeff Conway)

A photograph taken Sept. 19 exhibits the icy lake waters simply earlier than launch.

The state Division of Transportation closed the street to Primrose Campground, a U.S. Forest Service facility on Primrose Creek on the fringe of Kenai Lake, due to flooding.

The Kenai River is operating quick and excessive, making it onerous for sport fishermen and their guides to reel within the rainbow trout and Dolly Varden that often are so ample in fall, stated Andy Wallace, operations supervisor at Kenai River Drifter’s Lodge in Cooper Touchdown.

“Fishing has been brutal,” Wallace stated. “It is robust to fish when it is excessive water. … They’re pushed up into the timber.”

Guides drift in boats with shoppers down the river, then row again up. When the river is operating extra usually, an individual can pull in 50 catch-and-launch trout a day, he stated. However in water that is quick, excessive and murky, even the guides have been unable to hook fish, he stated.

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