National Park Service Warns of Serious Potential Flooding at Kenai Fjords National Park

by Sean Griffin

The National Park Service issued a flood warning for Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska amid flooding at national parks across the country.

The service reports that flood conditions are expected in the lagoon at the “terminus of Bear Glacier.” Apparently, a local flight company spotted an ice-damned lake near Bear Glacier draining on September 6. Moreover, a local kayaking company let officials know that lagoon levels are rising. In addition to this rising water, several inches of rain should shower the area in the next few days which will exacerbate the problem.

“Flooding in the lagoon at Bear Glacier’s terminus is expected for the next few days,” the National Park Service said in a press release. “Draining of the ice-dammed lake can create hazardous boating conditions in the lagoon that might include: an increase in iceberg calving at the terminus of Bear Glacier, standing waves and strong currents, or the redistribution of sediment and debris in channels like the one that exists at the outlet of the lagoon.”

The statement went on to warn boaters of the dangers of falling ice chunks. They write that: “These ice chunks can be difficult to see and could cause significant damage and/or injury to boaters.” The statement goes on to ask boaters to be extra cautious because of the ice.

The service ends its statement by saying that conditions are always subject to change. They add that they can be contacted at 907-422-0500 to be updated about conditions or to provide any information.

Massive Flooding at Kenai Fjords National Park and Dozens of National Parks Across the Country

On August 20th, a group of hikers took shelter in a cave at Canyonlands National Park after being stranded because of flash flooding.

Matt Castelli and his friends, a group of seasoned hikers, started their rafting trip down Green River. However, a few hours into the trip, the group realized they would need to make adjustments.

Castelli said: “We saw dark clouds and then lightning off in the distance. We kept checking in with each other then made the (decision) to get out about a mile down. We hurried into an alcove that was a hundred feet above the river.”

He said about two minutes after they were all in the cave, the real flooding started.

“It was sheets of rain that would block out your vision, you know, looking more than a few hundred yards away,” Castelli said.

The group huddled up for over two hours waiting for the storm to pass. They said the scenery quickly changed when they emerged.

“The prettier waterfalls quickly turned brown and choked with mud,” Castelli said. “We started seeing waterfalls in places we didn’t even know there could be waterfalls.”

Group members say they remain grateful they were prepared for the incident. However, they maintain they will be even more prepared before their next excursion.

“We did get a weather forecast on Saturday but I think going forward we will get one in the morning and one at noon,” Castelli said.

Fortunately, the group safely camped overnight. They hiked out of the area on Sunday. However, whether Kenai Fjords National Park or Canyonlands National Park, parks across the country currently suffer from these awful floods.