Eintime Conversion for education and research 10-14-2009 @ 19:49:41
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Rain returns to deluged Alaska valley

Posted 8/23/2006 1:38 PM ET

ANCHORAGE (AP) — A respite from rain was short-lived as showers returned on Tuesday to the heavily flooded Matanuska-Susitna Borough.

Floodwaters, however, should remain steady, said borough Webmaster Jack Horner.

"We don't expect areas that are not flooded to get any new water," Horner said. "Areas that are flooded, we don't expect the water will go down anytime in the near future."

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Tuesday afternoon to remain in effect until 10 a.m. Thursday for streams in the deluged Matanuska and Susitna river valleys.

National Weather Service hydrologist Larry Rundquist said he expected rivers to settle back into their banks by Thursday.

Despite the new rain, the Parks Highway, the main road link between Anchorage and Fairbanks, was reopened Tuesday evening after a four-day closure.

But it won't be smooth going.

At the five-mile stretch between flooded Troublesome Creek and the Chulitna River bridge, cars must creep by on a one-lane sliver of road.

A pilot car will be guiding drivers through the area, where the speed limit was cut to 25 miles per hour, officials said.

Elsewhere, a mudslide near Mile 5 of the Old Glenn Highway on Tuesday evening restricted traffic to the first five miles of the Old Glenn Highway, according to Matanuska-Susitna Borough Emergency Operations Center spokeswoman Sandy Scepurek.

The slide blanketed a 100-foot stretch of road with mud four feet deep, she said, but crews hoped to have the road opened by Wednesday.

Many residents remain evacuees, including families in Houston, Talkeetna and off Wasilla-Fishhook Road.

The American Red Cross of Alaska so far estimates 100 families will need flood assistance, spokeswoman Kelly Hurd said.

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