Big Lake, Alaska and The Susitna Valley News, Weather, Events, And More

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Saturday, January 20 2018 @ 01:40 AM AKST

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Richardson Highway/Valdez Avalanche

Alaska NewsThe Alaska Department of Transportation has posted an update, with photos and videos, of the incredible avalanche and conditions on the Richardson Highway near Valdez. Here is a portion of their update:


Currently it is lightly raining in Valdez and out to the Canyon.

The City of Valdez has set up a live feed video camera at the southern mouth of the canyon to also watch water flow. The level of the impounded water on the north side of the avalanche is continuing to drop. Currently the water level has receded from the southern bridge approach of the Lowe River Bridge on the north side of the canyon.

As stated yesterday, the estimated snow on the roadway is approximately 40 feet deep and 1000-1500 feet in length. As of yesterday it was estimated that there was about 10-15 feet of impounded water on the roadway north of the avalanche.

ADOT&PF crews are continuing to monitor the rate at which the water level is dropping. This is being done to inform the department of the current conditions and also to ensure if there is a sudden release of water (THIS IS NOT EXPECTED) that we can relay this to the City of Valdez so they may forward the information to residents out around 10 mile.
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2 charged with Disorderly Conduct/Obstruction of Highway near avalanche area

Alaska NewsOn 1-24-14, the Department of Transportation closed the Richardson Highway from MP 12-64 due to multiple avalanches crossing the road. On 1-25-14, DOT began avalanche control from MP 12-39 using explosives. On the afternoon of 1-25-14, the Valdez Troopers received a call from DOT advising there are two pedestrians that have walked across the 39 mile avalanche and said they were walking to Valdez. They were informed from DOT, and the Troopers, the road was impassible and they were to turn around. DOT was forced to shut down the avalanche work till the two people were in a safe location. After refusing to listen to the direction from DOT and Troopers, both parties were transported to Valdez via helicopter and subsequently arrested. DOT was unable to complete the necessary avalanche work till the next day due to the delay. Troopers identified Donney Carlson 20 YOA and Kristina Clark 22 YOA of Valdez. Both were transported to the Valdez jail and charged with Obstruction of Highway and Disorderly Conduct.
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Extreme Danger of more avalanches keeps crews from clearing Richardson Highway slides

Alaska NewsIn response to the avalanches that have occurred at Snow Slide Gulch in Keystone Canyon, the Alaska Department of Transportation (ADOT) continues to conduct avalanche control measures to assure the entire area is stable and safe for clean-up operations. The water build up behind the avalanches is still occurring, though some pressure is being relieved through the old tunnel south of the highway. Due to the severity of the situation, and the amount of snow, water and debris involved, the Richardson Highway will likely remain closed for at least one week, but very possibly longer.

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Alaska’s Population Grows By 3.7 Percent In Three Years

Alaska News"Alaska’s population growth is increasing faster than that of the rest of the country. Figures released Friday by the state labor department indicate that the state’s population increased 3.7 percent over the past three years, compared with a 2.4 growth rate in the US.

The largest increases were in Anchorage and the Matanuska Susitna Borough, according to Eddie Hunsinger, the state demographer with the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
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Nearly naked inmate flees Alaskan jail, gets a ride with a cop.

Alaska News"Nelson soon exited the car and ran towards another car in an attempt to try his luck at getting another ride to freedom. The next car was pulling into the Bristol Express convenience store parking lot when Nelson approached and attempted to get into the car in hopes of escape. Unfortunately for Nelson, the car belonged to Dillingham police officer Dan Decker, who was off-duty at the time and was driving with his family. Officer Decker recognized the nearly-naked escapee and held Nelson in temporary custody until other Dillingham police officers arrived on the scene to apprehend Nelson and take him back into custody."
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Bill would strip revenue agency of cattle branding requirement

Alaska News"FAIRBANKS -- In addition to collecting and managing billions in tax dollars, the Alaska Department of Revenue is charged with registering cattle brands.

Who knew?

But the department may soon be free to concentrate on billion-dollar questions if the just-introduced House Bill 231 -- “an act eliminating the Department of Revenue’s duty to register cattle brands” -- passes.

The measure, filed by House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Kenai, is among the more unusual entries in the list of 52 new bills and resolutions for 2014."
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Akutan Volcano's energy potential higher than previously thought

Alaska NewsThe geothermal energy venting from hot springs and a fumarole field at Akutan Volcano is much better than previously estimated, according to a new study that could boost a Southwest Alaska village’s plans to power homes and the continent’s largest seafood plant with the earth’s natural warmth.

The U.S. Geological Survey in 2012 measured 29 megawatts of heat steaming from a series of hot springs near sea level near Akutan, a fishing-based island community across the water from the famous Dutch Harbor port featured on the reality program “The Deadliest Catch.”
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Changes likely on tap for Mat-Su airspace

Alaska NewsIn late 2013, after two years of meetings and data gathering, the Mat-Su Traffic Working Group submitted its recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to alleviate mid-air concerns in the Southcentral Alaska region. The group, combined of representatives from a multitude of aviation organizations, was formed in response to multiple complaints and a deadly mid-air collision in July 2011. It sought public comment through an online survey and also met with pilots at the Great Alaska Aviation Gathering last May along with conducting numerous public meetings. The consistent and overwhelming concern from users of the Mat-Su airspace was confusion over proper radio frequencies. This was the primary issue the working group has sought to address.

In his recent report on the matter, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Regional Manager Tom George provides a concise overview of the submitted recommendations. First and foremost, the group created four "Area Frequency" zones which would be recommended for use when pilots were not in direct contact with Air Traffic Control. Any pre-existing Common Traffic Advisory Frequencies (CTAFs) would be changed to match the new recommended zone frequencies, eliminating any conflicts. Outside of the four zones pilots would use either published CTAF frequencies for airports or 122.9 MHz, the common default in uncontrolled airspace.
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Danish shipper plans more Arctic trips

Alaska NewsThe company that made the first commercial transit of the Northwest Passage plans to increase its shipments through the legendary waterway next year, suggesting such traffic is coming sooner than anyone anticipated.

“We hope and expect to do it,” said Christian Bonfils of Nordic Bulk Carriers, the Danish shipper which owns the Nordic Orion.

The vessel made history last September when it hauled 15,000 metric tons of coal to Finland from Vancouver through waters that were once impenetrable ice. It took four days less than it would have taken to traverse the Panama Canal, and its greater depths allowed the Orion to carry about 25 percent more coal.

Sailing through the passage saved the company about $200,000 and resulted in a nicely profitable voyage.

“We had a very smooth voyage and not any major delays,” said Bonfils. “We’re very pleased about it.”
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Happy Statehood Day!

Alaska NewsJanuary 3, 1959. More on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alaska



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1.53 Earthquake Strikes near Big Lake

Alaska NewsThe Alaska Earthquake Information Center reported a 1.53 Earthquake near Big Lake at 3:48 AM Friday January 3rd, 2014. The depth of the quake was 21 miles (33 km). No damages or injuries were reported.

We Will Rebuild

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With annual moose hunt, Alaska aims to reduce Mat-Su road kills

Alaska News"In an effort to keep drivers safe, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game is once again opening a targeted moose hunt near major roadways in the Matanuska Valley.

Starting Jan. 6, eight hunters a week will get a chance to hunt moose in specific areas in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough that have a high density of the animals in areas close to major roadways.

It's the third year for the hunt, which was established by the Board of Game to clear the high density of “nuisance” moose that congregate near the Parks and Glenn Highways in Mat-Su. The hunt is scheduled through March 30 and includes areas in Palmer and Wasilla, to as far east as Chickaloon and north to Talkeetna." Read More at http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article...road-kills


(National Park Service)
Map: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/static/hun.../AM415.pdf
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ALASKA VOLCANO OBSERVATORY DAILY UPDATE Thursday, January 2, 2014 12:25 PM AKST (Thursday, January 2, 2014 21:25 UTC)

Alaska NewsCLEVELAND VOLCANO (CAVW #1101-24-)
52°49'20" N 169°56'42" W, Summit Elevation 5676 ft (1730 m)
Current Volcano Alert Level: WATCH
Current Aviation Color Code: ORANGE

Cleveland Volcano appears to have entered a renewed phase of elevated unrest and AVO changed the Aviation Color Code and Alert Level from Yellow/Advisory to ORANGE/WATCH this morning. Three brief explosions were detected over the past six days and minor ash plumes were observed in satellite data following events on Dec. 30 and Jan. 2 UTC.

Analysis of satellite, wind, and ash dispersion data indicates that the Jan. 2 plume probably did not reach more than 15,000 feet above sea level.
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