Glacial dam outburst in Alaska’s capital erodes riverbanks, destroys at least 2 buildings

by Ryan Lee
0 comment
fokus keyword glacial dam outburst

In the capital city of Alaska, violent waters eroded riverbanks, leading to the destruction of at least two buildings, and causing damage to others after a weekend of flooding resulting from a glacial lake’s outburst. By Monday, the authorities reported that the waters had subsided.

The Mendenhall River’s water levels began to drop on Sunday and were back to normal by Monday, but the city warned that the river banks were still not stable. Many onlookers gathered to capture images and videos of the swollen Mendenhall Lake on Sunday, although fewer were present on Monday. One home was left in a precarious position on the eroded riverbank as murky water surged past.

Juneau’s deputy city manager, Robert Barr, stated that two homes were a total loss and a third was partially ruined. However, no injuries or fatalities have been reported. Additionally, two condo buildings, comprising six units each, and three houses were designated as condemned, although some might be salvageable. Barr expressed hope that with substantial repairs, including stabilizing the banks, some of these properties might be saved. Yet, he also noted that it’s not certain whether they could be restored.

Besides the aforementioned, other structures have suffered various degrees of damage. At the time of the report, the city did not have an estimated cost of the damages or the exact quantity of water released into the river.

Such floods are a result of glaciers melting and releasing vast volumes of water into adjacent lakes. A study released earlier in the year found that such floods pose risks to approximately 15 million people across the globe, with more than half of them residing in India, Pakistan, Peru, and China.

This specific flood came from Suicide Basin, a part of the Mendenhall Glacier, which has caused intermittent flooding along Mendenhall Lake and River since 2011. According to the National Weather Service, the water level on Saturday night surpassed the previous record flood stage set in 2016.

Eran Hood, a professor of environmental science at the University of Alaska Southeast, explained that the water in the basin originates from sources like rain, snowmelt, and the melting of the nearby Suicide Glacier. Nicole Ferrin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, emphasized that while such outburst floods are not rare, this particular one was extraordinarily severe, with the resulting erosion from the swift-moving water being unparalleled.

Social media footage from late Saturday night revealed a home on the brink of collapse into the river. The Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists annually, continues to shrink in the face of global warming.

Note: The story also includes a correction concerning the number of properties condemned.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword: glacial dam outburst

What caused the flooding in Alaska’s capital city?

The flooding in Alaska’s capital city was caused by an outburst from a glacial lake, resulting in a sudden release of a large volume of water.

How did the flooding impact the area?

The flooding led to the erosion of riverbanks, destroying at least two buildings and causing damage to other structures in the vicinity.

Were there any casualties reported?

Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries or fatalities resulting from the flooding.

What is the extent of the property damage?

Two homes were completely destroyed, while a third suffered partial damage. Additionally, two condo buildings with six units each and three homes were labeled as condemned due to the extent of the damage.

How common are these types of floods?

While outburst floods from glacial lakes are not uncommon, the severity of this particular flood was notable due to the unprecedented amount of erosion caused by the fast-moving water.

What causes glacial dam outburst floods?

These floods occur when glaciers melt, releasing substantial amounts of water into nearby lakes. The water then bursts through natural barriers, leading to flooding downstream.

Has this area experienced similar floods before?

Yes, the area has experienced sporadic flooding from Suicide Basin, a part of the Mendenhall Glacier, since 2011. However, the water levels in this recent flood exceeded previous records.

How is climate change contributing to these events?

Glacial melting, a result of global warming, contributes to the formation of glacial lakes and the potential for outburst floods, exacerbating the frequency and intensity of such events.

What measures are being taken to mitigate future risks?

Authorities are considering bank stabilization and substantial repairs to damaged properties. However, the unpredictable nature of glacial dam outburst floods poses challenges in implementing comprehensive preventive measures.

How can individuals prepare for such natural disasters?

Residents and property owners in flood-prone areas should stay informed about weather and flood alerts, have emergency plans in place, and consider flood insurance to minimize the financial impact of such events.

More about fokus keyword: glacial dam outburst

You may also like

Leave a Comment


BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News