Residents take stock of damage as floodwaters recede in Manley Hot Springs

High waters surround buildings
Manley Hot Springs on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Alaska State Troopers)

Water started receding within the Interior Alaska group of Manley Hot Springs Sunday afternoon after the discharge of an ice jam led to main flooding over the weekend.

The jam on the Tanana River occurred Saturday. National Weather Service hydrologist Ed Plumb flew over the world that day with the Civil Air Patrol as flood waters rose. 

Sabrina and Kobi Jervsjo’s yard in Manley Hot Springs. (Jervsjo household)

“Maybe 90% of the community was inundated with water, at varying depths,” Plumb stated. “Most of the roads had water over them. Many structures and homes had water either around them or under them, and it was hard to tell from the air how many were impacted with water actually inside the homes.”

Manley resident Sabrina Jervsjo estimates that about 40 houses have been affected by the flood in the neighborhood west of Fairbanks.

“Our home is probably a total loss, along with many other homes in Manley,” she stated.   

Jervsjo stated there’s injury from the water, and even worse, gas spills.

“I think everybody in Manley Hot Springs purchased heating fuel before the cost went up, plus their summer’s gas, and it stinks so bad like fuel,” she stated. “It’s just a sheen across everywhere.”

Jervsjo stated a majority of the group’s 80-plus residents evacuated to increased floor, and lots of are staying on the Manley Hot Springs Resort property.

“They just called us and told us, ‘Everybody just go up there and sleep, as many people as you can into the cabins.’ And a few people brought campers,” Jervisjo stated. “Pam Redington opened up her home, and she has a couple other cabins that she opened up. And people with dogs — she opened up and let people put dogs in kennels.”  

Jersvso stated the evacuees are thus far well-supplied.

“We’re all great on the food and water department where we are staying up here at the resort. The owners just brought us a truckload of food,” she stated. 

As of Sunday, the group’s energy, cellphone strains and cell service have been nonetheless down. 

The Tanana Chiefs Conference and the state have responded to Manley Hot Springs to supply help. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has declared a catastrophe for the world and visited the group with a meals supply Sunday.  

High waters surround buildings
Manley Hot Springs on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Alaska State Troopers)

Plumb, of the climate service, stated the ice that jammed beneath Manley has flushed downstream towards the village of Tanana.  

“At this point it doesn’t seem like its going to be enough water to cause any sort of flooding, and also the ice that was backed up behind that ice jam was really small little chunks and pans,” Plumb stated. “By the time it gets down to Tanana, it’s probably going to be even smaller pieces, so we are not anticipating that to cause any significant flooding.”

Tanana is positioned the place the Tanana River flows into the Yukon River. There’s nonetheless concern about ice jam flooding on the Yukon. The breakup entrance moved previous Circle early Monday. Meanwhile, cooler temperatures and combined rain and snow have moved into the broader area.

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