Heavy Rain Keeps City Crews Busy

090115.seliefculverts.jpgCity crews pack up after alleviating the minor flooding on the north side of Selief Lane Thursday morning. Jay Barrett/KMXT photo.

Jay Barrett/KMXT

Heavy rain, snow-melt and frozen ground contributed to some minor flooding around town. Kodiak City Engineer Howard Weston said city crews were kept very busy, starting Wednesday night and into today (Thursday).

He said with the ground frozen from the recent deep freeze, the rain was not able to soak in, and instead, all of it became runoff. He said usually a third or more of the rainfall is absorbed into the ground.

There was a small landslide above the road into Gibson Cove, and yards of homes on the north side of Selief Lane got flooded after the culverts under their driveways couldn’t handle the volume. Weston said it’s a long standing problem, since the homes were built at a level lower than the creek that used to run through there, which is now mostly a drainage ditch between driveways. He said about seven or eight years ago the small, one-foot culverts were replaced by the city with four-foot culverts, and it has greatly reduced the frequency of the flooding there.

A city fire department pumper truck was called in and the Coast Guard loaned the city a large dewatering pump to alleviate the build up of water in the ditches. By 11 a.m., all the yards were dry, though the culverts were operating at maximum capacity.

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