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Mat-Su Floods, Road Closures: 10 People Rescued in Wasilla

September 20, 2012|By KTUU News Staff | Channel 2 News
  • On Sep. 19, Wasilla home flooded off of Lucille Street.
Courtesy: Tina Spain

WASILLA, Alaska — Heavy rain and strong winds continued to hit the Mat-Su Borough prompting many flood advisories and road closures, including an incident where 10 people were rescued in Wasilla early Thursday morning.

A flash flood swept through a neighborhood off of Lucille Street and Marilyn Circle just after midnight. Residents of the house with the most flooding say the water rose so fast that by the time they pulled out of their driveway, the water was waist deep. People who lived in the four other homes were rescued by emergency responders who rafted them to safety.

"This sucks, for sure. I mean we're not in a flood zone, you don't expect this kind of thing to happen but it does so, we're just trying to get through it the best we can," said homeowner Sarah Littlefair.

Littlefair says when her family climbed out of their windows, they had to be evacuated by boat. In just a few hours, she says the water level has dropped about six feet.

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On Thursday morning, some homeowners waded through floodwaters while others brought in small rafts or boats in order to get back to their homes and assess the damage and salvage their belongings.

"It seems very unreal still. Trying to collect everything and the fact that everything we own is underwater," said Ryan Montgomery, who rafted into the house he rents to save what he could.

Mat-Su Borough officials sent out a road closure update at 9:45 a.m.:

“Shorty Road and Welch Road are closed.

The gravel slide at Mile 71 on the Glenn Hwy has been cleared, however, rock slides are increasing between Miles 77 and 79 between N. Fish Lake Rd and N Chickaloon Branch Rd, West of where the Glenn crosses the Chickaloon River.

The highway is passable but drivers should use caution; crews are on their way to clear the roadway.”

At 11:00 a.m., Mat-Su Borough officials said "in Talkeetna, Beaver and Mercedes roads are flooded," and in East Talkeetna people were instructed to evacuate immediately at the north end of Beaver Road. Anchorage's dive team were sent to assist.
    
Three shelters opened overnight in the Susitna Valley, which were the Willow Community Center Shelter, Upper Susitna Senior Center, and Menard Sports Complex, according to the American Red Cross of Alaska.

The Red Cross said if your home has been affected by the recent storms and you need immediate assistance, please call 907-646-5401 or 1-888-345-4376.

Shortly before 10:00 a.m., the Little Susitna river was reported to be over its banks at the Enchanted Forest subdivision in Houston and sandbags were sent to the area.

Officials said 13 animals were rescued from the Willow Creek area off of Burrows, and from the Marilyn and Lucille flash flood. The animals were placed with family members or at shelters.

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