Emergency officials are closely watching the Talkeetna and Susitna rivers and are preparing for potential spring break-up flooding, a few months after floodwaters seeped into town last fall, temporarily evacuating the small town.
Assistant Chief of the Talkeetna Fire Department, Eric Denkewalter, said on Thursday that usually Talkeetna residents brace for fall flooding, but this year, colder spring temperatures are causing a concern.
"When you have conditions like this when it's very cold through the spring months, and then the weather does change into some very warm weather... That's when you have potential for a lot of snow and ice to melt at once and the rivers could rise pretty rapidly," said Denkewalter.
Unlike gradual flooding that happened in September 2012, emergency officials say rising waters caused by an ice jam could happen very quickly.
"An ice jam type of flood can happen within an hour or two. The water is up and the people start hearing sirens, it means get out of there," said Denkewalter.
Cary Birdsall, a Talkeetna Community councilmember, said a public service announcment has been running on the radio, and fliers are posted around Talkeetna, alerting residents of the flood potential and the need to be prepared.
"That's all we can do," he said. "Just see what Mother Nature decides."
Contact Abby Hancock: