Breaking: Major evacuation in Ketchikan, dam may fail - Must Read AlaskaQ
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Saturday, February 27, 2021
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Breaking: Major evacuation in Ketchikan, dam may fail


A voluntary evacuation is underway in Ketchikan, with a mandatory evacuation expected around 3 am Sunday, in areas below Ketchikan Lakes Dam.

Officials say with rainfall continuing through the night, the dam may be breached and may fail, which would cause a flash flood down Ketchikan Creek, which goes through a central portion of Ketchikan.

The Ketchikan Emergency Operations Center ordered everyone in the Ketchikan Creek area to evacuate to higher ground. This includes properties on Park Avenue, Harris Street, Freeman Street, Totem Drive, Nickey Way, Salmon Row, Woodland Avenue, Deermount Street (above Woodland Ave), Creek Street, and some areas East of Bawden Street (on Dock Street, Mission Street and Mill Street).

First responders are now going door-to-door asking residents to pack a bag and evacuate for between 48-72 hours.

“As of 4 pm today the reservoir behind Ketchikan Lakes Dam had reached moderate flood stage at 350 feet of elevation. Water levels are forecast to continue to rise and reach 351 feet by approximately 3am.  At 351 feet water will be above the dam’s core which could lead to erosion of the dam structure and potential dam failure,” the EOC warned. The potential is for extreme flooding with no notice.

Normal creek conditions on the left, and today’s creek condition in Ketchikan on the right.

The Borough Transit Bus will be available for anyone needing transportation to the Recreation Center. Starting at 6 pm buses will make one or more passes (depending on conditions) going down Park Avenue to Bawden St., turning left onto Mill St. to Creek St., heading south on Stedman and turning left up Deermount, before proceeding to the Rec Center. Those needing to flag down the bus are advised to use their phone flashlight or other light to draw attention to the driver.

Rain is expected to continue through the next 24 hours in the town of 8,300 people. The Ketchikan Gateway Borough has about 14,000 residents.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • 2020 can’t stop, won’t stop.

    • I suspect that 2021 will make 2020 look like a picnic. Because all the globalists, power-drunk politicians, and leftist reactionary authoritarians who automatically bow down to everything from the first two groups will never, EVER stop until their dystopian vision of the future is implemented, with all rights and freedoms effectively destroyed, along with anything resembling a normal and stable society.
      Face it, folks: we are at war, and the pro-freedom side is losing, badly.

  • Let us all hope that 2020 goes down as a one-off, and does not become the new normal.
    I hope for everyone’s sake, that 2020 is an anomaly, that we can put it behind us, and things improve going forward….
    2020……”embrace the suck”

  • Much of the evacuation area is pretty densely populated with homes. A good size museum and businesses as well. Pray for Ketchikan and that there would be no loss of life. It sounds like they responded quickly with evacuations.

  • Now there is another real emergency — the Haines mudslide. Geez! Covid my foot is an emergency, yeah right. All it takes is another 2018 or 1964 earthquake under Anchorage to show the fearful depressed Anchorage a real fear worth fearing.

  • Rain and Creek Street
    Maugham could have set his short story here rather than Pago Pago


  • “We make our plans but Yahweh has the final word.”—Prov16:1

    Please someone tell us that they never built a dam without a diversion mechanism.

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