- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 1, 2020

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Some residents of an Alaska borough were still contending with blocked roads preventing easy access to their homes a week after an ice jam caused a creek to flood, officials said.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has used small boats and amphibious, all-terrain vehicles to help residents of Willow transport supplies to their homes, Alaska Public Media reported Monday.

Heavy equipment operators with the borough’s public works department continued to guide the water back into Willow Creek, borough Emergency Services Director Ken Barkley said Monday.

Residents near the Willow Creek and Deneki Road areas were evacuated the night of Dec. 21-22 when a large chunk of ice jammed at the Deneki bridge and caused upstream flooding. No injuries were reported.

Borough Mayor Vern Halter declared a local emergency and the borough is seeking a state disaster declaration, officials said.



The borough evacuated residents and pets from more than a dozen homes, including five that officials said were damaged by floodwater.

“Yesterday, we moved 800 pounds (363 kilograms) of dog food and yak food - those are some of the exotic animals that are in there,” Barkley said, adding that two food transports were scheduled Monday with the possibility of another for emergency supplies.

Upcoming work is expected to include installation of a bridge and a culvert where water flowed over a road, Barkley said.

Boat and ATV operators continued to help shuttle some residents in and out of the area, while others remained in place or are stayed elsewhere.

Once the roads are passable, the borough will begin working on the ice that caused the flooding, Barkley said.

“We still have the ice dam there that needs to be addressed, but right now we’re trying to get it to where it’s safe enough for residents to come in and out, so they don’t have to rely on us and can be self-sufficient,” Barkley said.

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