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Alaska faces runoff threat

Floodwaters caused significant damage to at least 15 homes in Delta Junction, Alaska, a town some 90 miles southeast of Fairbanks, and drinking water has been tainted for many more households.

BY DISASTER NEWS NETWORK | DELTA JUNCTION, Alaska | May 13, 2004

Floodwaters caused significant damage to at least 15 homes in Delta Junction, Alaska, a town some 90 miles southeast of Fairbanks, and drinking water has been tainted for many more households.

"We are trying to make sure people have clean drinking water. We are testing their wells," said Julia Phillips, emergency coordinator for Delta Junction.

The volunteer fire department, Alaska National Guard and private citizens have been teaming up to try to help people make repairs and to repair roads so people are not cut off from their homes, said Phillips.

Rural households in the outskirts of Delta Junction have also been affected, she added.

The flooding was a result of more than an inch of rainfall and spring runoff that flooded Granite Creek, normally a tiny stream. Road culverts couldn't handle the water.

The Alaska Division of Forestry responded initially to the flooding as well, rescuing people who were trapped in their homes when floodwaters submerged area roads. The American Red Cross responded to people's emergency needs.

Local residents are used to spring flooding, but at least some report this round is the worst they can remember.

More runoff could be on its way as snow continues to melt off the Granite Mountains.


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