- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Gov. Bill Walker has declared a state disaster for the Dalton Highway, which is closed because of unprecedented levels of river overflow.

A news release from Walker’s office Tuesday says the declaration was verbally issued Tuesday. The declaration activates state assistance for those affected by flooding damage.

Alaska Department of Transportation spokeswoman Meadow Bailey says the highway remains closed in a 35-mile section between mileposts 378 and 413. She says it’s unclear when it will be reopened.

The problem began in mid-March and culminated with unprecedented levels of overflow from the Sagavanirktok River flooding the highway last week and forcing the closure.

The closed stretch was reopened the evening of April 9. Bailey said the current closure began Sunday.

Trucks use the highway to take supplies to North Slope oilfields.

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