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1/14/2020
Ice jam causes flood advisory: On Kenai River

KENAI (AP) — Cold weather and a prolonged ice jam on the Kenai River have prompted the National Weather Service to issue an updated flood advisory for Alaska's central Kenai Peninsula.

The new advisory was the result of an ice jam that formed near the Big Eddy State Recreation Site Jan. 5, The Peninsula Clarion reported  Saturday.

The ice jam caused flooding in a Soldotna subdivision.

The Kenai Peninsula Office of Emergency Management provided a Jan. 10 update on conditions in the area, notifying residents that flooded roads were barricaded and continue to be monitored.

Cold temperatures are expected to cause the Kenai River to continue freezing upstream, Emergency Manager Dan Nelson said.

The flood advisory was issued Friday and was to remain in effect through Sunday night.

But a National Weather Service hydrologist said the the flood advisory will likely remain in place or be extended until the weather changes.

Temperatures warm enough to break the ice jam are not forecast for the next week, said Celine Van Breukelen, senior service hydrologist.

"At this point, as long as temperatures stay well below zero, it's a waiting game," Van Breukelen said.

The Kenai emergency management office advised motorists to avoid flooded areas and continue to take safety precautions near the river.

Significant amounts of water remain under the ice and the thickness of the ice can be deceptive along the river's edge and in larger lakes, officials said.