The Denali mud slide is the result of heavy rain. The park reports measuring nearly 8 inches of rain at Eielson last week. National Weather Service meteorologist Benjamin Bartus said July precipitation there was extreme.
“From July 1st to the 30th, not including the 31st, the Eielson visitor center saw 16 inches of rain which is incredible,” Bartus said.
Weekend rain also bumped up last month’s precipitation tally in Fairbanks, where Bartus says July 2016 ranked as the 4th wettest on record with 4 point 9-7 inches of rain.
“And for the two-month span of June and July, this summer that was actually the second wettest on record with 8.26 inches,” Bartus said.
Bartus said as much as 4 inches of rain fell on hills north of Fairbanks over the weekend, raising already high rivers, which are flooding low lying areas, including along the Chena and Tanana Rivers.
“The steamboat subdivision has been getting some water across roadways out towards North Pole and around Rosie Creek as well,” Bartus said. “We’ve seen water come over roadways and those are the two big impact areas so far around Fairbanks. Up the Chena, the upper Chena the Granite tours area, that area has seen some high water. Trailheads in that area would be inundated with water as well close to the river.”
A flood advisory remains in effect for the Fairbanks area until Wednesday afternoon. Bartus said some drying is forecast.
“The low pressure system that brought us all this rain showers and a lot of steady rain actually over the past few days has pushed through us and we’ll see some gradual clearing,” Bartus said.
Bartus cautions that there’s a chance for more rain later in the week.