Eintime Conversion for education and research 04-24-2007 @ 21:09:44
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More rain on the way in flooded Alaska

Updated 8/22/2006 10:17 AM ET

ANCHORAGE (AP) — High water that closed the main corridor between the state's two largest cities dropped steadily Sunday, though weary emergency officials kept a close watch on forecasts calling for more rain.

"We have reports all over the valley of the rivers and streams subsiding," said Clint Vardeman, a deputy director of emergency services.

Roads and bridges were still under water, he said. The Parks Highway and the Alaska Railroad were closed between Anchorage and Fairbanks most of the day because of bridge damage and mud slides. The railroad reopened late Sunday and service was expected to return to normal by midnight, spokesman Tim Thompson said.

High water forced at least 150 residents from their homes Saturday and sent campers and fishermen scurrying for high ground, officials said.

Residents could not return home for at least another day, Vardeman said.

Heavy rain last week culminated with 3.7 inches falling Friday at Talkeetna, between Anchorage and Fairbanks, causing flooding and bridge damage.

A home was destroyed Sunday along the Little Susitna River, after another home and a cabin had been destroyed a day earlier, Vardeman said.

Low-lying subdivisions near Houston, a town of 1,500 along the Little Susitna, remained threatened Sunday, Vardeman said.

Workers were waiting for water to recede before they could fully assess damage, he said.

State troopers, National Guardsmen, and members of the State Defense Force and the Naval Militia blocked traffic or filled sandbags Sunday.

Showers tapered off Sunday morning, but 2 to 4 inches of rain was forecast for the evening.

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04-24-2007 @ 21:09:44