Alaska News Nightly: September 21, 2012

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Talkeetna Braces For Flooding

Lorien Nettleton, KTNA – Talkeetna

Large areas of East Talkeetna are under several inches of water, affecting about 100 homes. The Talkeetna River began to rise Wednesday night, and breached its banks on Thursday morning, flowing in to East Talkeetna.

A rock riprap levee on the northwest edge of the town was breached about 11 a.m., prompting evacuation notices from the local Fire Chief Ken Farina.

Emergency operations were organizing to start a sandbag operation in east Talkeetna when reports of a rapidly rising Susitna river raised concerns of widespread flooding. Captain Tim Morgan with Talkeetna Fire and Rescue says the limited resources on hand today were first used to evacuate the town.

Robin Radlein from the National Weather Service is the hydrologist in charge of the Alaska Pacific Forecast center and has been monitoring flood conditions in the Susitna Valley. Radlein says the rising Susitna River could leave the already flooding Talkeetna river with nowhere to go, causing a bottle neck that could mean more breaching of levees.

With the majority of people removed from town, emergency workers organized remaining volunteers to begin sandbag work in downtown Talkeetna to limit encroaching water coming in to Main Street from the Susitna River. A shortage of sandbags has limited the amount of preventative measures for Main Street and river-front area of Downtown Talkeetna

Chris Love is working as an emergency responder and swift-water rescue. At 2 p.m. he was tasked with coordinating the sandbag efforts on Main Street in Talkeetna where the town and riverfront meet.

Flooding Strikes Kenai Peninsula

Ellen Lockyer, KSKA – Anchorage

Although all eyes are on the impending flooding in Talkeetna at this hour, other areas of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and the Kenai Peninsula Borough are dealing with emergencies of their own.

Settlement Reached In Lawsuit About The 2005 Bristol Bay Area Plan

Mike Mason, KDLG – Dillingham

A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit that pitted several tribes in Bristol Bay against the Alaska Department of Natural Resources.  The settlement could impact the proposed Pebble Mine.

9th Circuit Court Rules Against Kivalina

The Associated Press

A federal appeals court has ruled against the northwest Alaska village of Kivalina, which sued energy companies over claims that greenhouse emissions contributed to global warming that is threatening the community’s existence.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday upheld a U.S. District Court ruling that Kivalina didn’t have standing to sue oil, coal and power companies.

The eroding village sought monetary damages to help with the estimated $400 million to relocate.

Judge Sidney Thomas noted the court’s conclusion doesn’t help Kivalina, which is being “displaced by the rising sea.” Thomas added a solution to Kivalina’s dire problems must rest with the legislative branches.

Three Hikers Rescued From Deer Mountain

Leila Kheiry, KRBD – Ketchikan

A locator beacon turned what could have been a long, drawn-out, overnight search operation on Deer Mountain into a quick and successful afternoon rescue.

Fairbanks Residents Combat Invasive Plant

Emily Schwing, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks residents gathered Tuesday night to discuss how best to deal with an invasive plant that is slowly taking over roadways within the North Star Borough.  Attendees agreed public outreach and awareness is the best option to combat Bird Vetch.

AK: Off Course

Angela Denning-Barnes, KYUK – Bethel

They say birds of a feather flock together. But try telling that to a small, brightly colored songbird that showed up in Bethel last month. The unusual bird is thousands of miles outside of his normal range. And he hasn’t started flying south yet. That has many birders wondering why he’s sticking around and if he’s going to try to survive the harsh Alaska winter.

300 Villages: Alatna

This week, we’re visiting the tiny interior community of Alatna, north of Fairbanks. Clara Sam is a council member in Alatna.

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