As a result of record floods caused by the flow of water from a glacier-dammed lake, Alaska’s capital city declared a local state of emergency and left at least two structures in ruins.
The city and borough of Juneau, the state’s capital, declared a local state of emergency on Sunday following record flooding brought on by a significant water flow from the Suicide Basin, a side basin of the Mendenhall Glacier. According to the city, at least two buildings were destroyed, and residents in other buildings who were in danger were evacuated.
According to the National Weather Service, since 2011, glacier lake outbursts from the Suicide Basin have caused flooding along Mendenhall Lake and the Mendenhall River.
According to the National Weather Service, Mendenhall Lake’s water levels crested at 14.97 feet on Saturday night, shattering the previous record of 11.99 feet recorded in July 2016. The Mendenhall River banks “remain highly unstable,” the mayor of Juneau declared on Sunday, urging people to avoid the river.
“Significant flooding was reported with water in areas that previously have not seen flooding,” the National Weather Service said on Sunday. The flooding, according to officials, affected gasoline tanks and containers for hazardous materials as well as left tree fall and debris in the river and silt on the roads. Cleaning-up operations, according to the city, have begun.
According to the National Weather Service of Juneau, the river level began to decline after reaching its peak on Saturday night, and the flood warning was lifted. However, the service noted that dangers remain in and around the Mendenhall River.