NWS: Flood advisory after glacier dammed lake releases

Cooper Landing Bridge (Photo from NWS)
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The National Weather Service says that several areas of the Kenai Peninsula could see flooding after a glacier dammed lake released water into the Snow River and Kenai Lake.

NWS put out a Flood Advisory on Wednesday, meaning "river or stream flows are elevated, or ponding of water in urban or other areas is occurring or is imminent."

Glacier dammed lakes are formed when a glacier blocks off the flow of water out of a tributary valley. As snowmelt, rainfall, and other sources of water fill up the lake over time, eventually the lake overfills and fractures the blocking glacier.

Different glacier dammed lakes release at different intervals. NWS data show that the Snow Glacier Dammed Lake releases every two to three years, usually from August to December.

The last time it released was in 2017, when 105,000 acre feet of water released, flooding the Primrose Campground with two to three feet of water on the road for several days.

NWS says that this year's release is expected to match that of the 2017 release.

In 2009, a 125,500-acre-foot flood raised water levels by up to 5.8 feet in some areas.

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