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#4268041 - 01/25/14 12:12 AM Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches
Wolverinebait Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 0
Loc: Tonsina, Alaska
What's happening in Keystone Canyon, which is between Valdez & Thompson Pass is almost unbelievable. Valdez has the potential tonight to be cut off from the rest of the world for maybe the remainder of the winter, if this goes bad. The highway is closed, for who knows how long at this point,... it's so dangerous right now, that DOT doesn't even know how many avalanches are plugging the road thur the Thompson Pass area, they won't let anyone in to go look, and weather has been too bad to even fly with a helicopter, until this afternoon. And what they found at the head of Keystone Canyon is enough to make you think these pictures are photo-shopped, but it's real. DOT camp in Thompson Pass has had no power for a couple days, which means our hydro-line is probably wiped out. I just got off the phone with the foreman of the Ernestine DOT camp, who gave me some more info on this situation.


Here's the pictures of what has happened today in Keystone Canyon,... taken a few hours before dark today,...







This is only going to mean something for those of you who are familiar with this area.

A huge avalanche has come down right at the north end of the canyon, with snow an estimated 50-60 feet deep across the highway,... but has also dammed up the Lowe River,... which is now backing up & forming a lake, that is getting deeper by the minute. DOT estimates that the water depth on the pavement just above this snow slide is approx. 20 feet deep,... and has the potential to raise another 15 feet before approaching the top of the avalanche. This new "lake" that is over the highway is mountain-side to mountain-side wide,... and if it were to all let go at once thru the snow slide that is holding it all back.... the Richardson Hwy thru Keystone Canyon will most likely be gone,... 3 bridges & all. Alpine Woods, a residential area about 6 miles below here is being evacuated as I write this. All the road signs are under water,... there is a small rock quarry along the hwy just above this,... the loaders and other equipment, etc are all underwater. No one dare come from below this to go look,... no one from above this can access it, since there are unknown other avalanches plugging the highway above here as well. This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime scenario building here that no one thought would ever happen,...
_________________________
If a man is out in the woods,... and says something,...

And no woman heard him,...

Was he still wrong,... ?

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#4268044 - 01/25/14 12:16 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Aknative Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/10/09
Posts: 17
Loc: Fairbanks AK
Dam. Thoughts and prayers.
_________________________
Rumors of my assimilation have been greatly exaggerated.

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#4268045 - 01/25/14 12:20 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Spek Jones Online   content
"FATHER"

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 812
Loc: Homer, Alaska
Wow, extremely dangerous situation! Very likely to all let go at once.

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#4268047 - 01/25/14 12:22 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
frozen okie Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 793
Loc: wasilla,alaska
WOW hope everyone gets out of the way if and when it cuts loose
_________________________
I come a learning,not a knowing

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#4268054 - 01/25/14 12:27 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
smalltimetrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/09/07
Posts: 750
Loc: Interior Alaska
That's incredible!
_________________________
Obamunism: change has come to America

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#4268056 - 01/25/14 12:28 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Tikchik Gulo Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/13
Posts: 1
Loc: SW, Alaska
Wow
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"I dont believe in doing work I dont want to do in order to live the way I dont want to live." ~ Edward Abbey

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#4268058 - 01/25/14 12:33 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2087
Loc: Homer, Alaska
WB thanks so much for sharing this with us. Truly a travesty as it is and looks to only get worse. We will prayer for the best end in sight for this situation.
_________________________
Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#4268060 - 01/25/14 12:36 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Chickenminer Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/02/13
Posts: 0
Loc: Chicken, Alaska
Unbelieveable !! Man those folks at the lower end of the Lowe river
better get ready.

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#4268063 - 01/25/14 12:50 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Alaskan Offline
"AMY SUE"

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 4967
Loc: Gnome, Alaska
Ummm....so like before, we'll have to fix it. Ain't that bad. Ain't good. But ain't that bad.

Welcome to the world of not being able to drive to Anchorage.
_________________________
"Goats pee in the water sheep drink."

Life member: NRA, NTA, AkTA, AkFTA, WiTA, MnTA, MoTA, OrTA

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#4268065 - 01/25/14 12:57 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Chickenminer]
Wolverinebait Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 0
Loc: Tonsina, Alaska
Some more info,... Alyeska is highly concerned and in high alert to potential catastrophe,.. there is major concern that Dayville Road could be highly damaged or even wiped out, which would take out the ground access to the Trans-Alaska pipeline terminal. The Petro-Star refinery is sitting almost right in the bullseye of the Lowe River where it dumps into Port Valdez, so the potential for damage to it is heightened now as well. Every creek & river from my house to Valdez is opened up & running high & hard,... I know that I have lost a good percentage of the traps (and fur) I currently have out,... mad

Valdez has had around 9 inches of rain in the last couple days, and the creeks and rivers flowing there are currently at flood stage right now,... with a huge dam of water a few miles upstream just building & building there,... waiting to blow out at any minute,... this will probably happen tonight sometime. This all seems surreal,... this is the middle of January,... when trapping should be going full-bore,... when you have to stay home because it's -52,... not watching something like this about to happen,....
_________________________
If a man is out in the woods,... and says something,...

And no woman heard him,...

Was he still wrong,... ?

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#4268069 - 01/25/14 01:10 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Akmike84 Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/17/09
Posts: 52
Loc: Alaska
It takes someone familiar with this area to realize just how unbelievable this is. Back in the flood of 2006 a portion of the road was damaged badly through the canyon and was closed for about 3 weeks or so. Can't even imagine what its going to look like when this lets go.

Nobody knows what to expect once it gets through the canyon to see how high the water will be once it gets to dayville road and the refinery. I can't imagine how this could break apart and not do serious damage. Hopefully by the time it gets the 10-12 miles down river from the canyon the water and ice has spread out enough to not damage the refinery or Dayville road.

Will be interesting to see how this all ends.

Mike

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#4268071 - 01/25/14 01:13 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
HFT AK Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 399
Loc: Wasilla AK
At least they can see what is coming and prepare for it, I hope for and wish everyone down that away the best!

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#4268075 - 01/25/14 01:27 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
otterman Offline



Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 2397
Loc: SW Alaska
Man oh Man we got friends in Alpine Woods hope everyone down there is safe. I watched many a bear over the years on that hillside where the slide is and always wondered if it let loose what it would do to the road but never thought about it damming up the river like that. Just one more reason for me not to miss the place smile
_________________________

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#4268087 - 01/25/14 01:46 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
broncoformudv Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/25/11
Posts: 2
Loc: Fort Richardson, Alaska
That is amazing! Never would have thought that would be possible this time of the year but Alaska is good at surprising you.

Sure hope everyone is able to get out of the way before it lets go.

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#4268099 - 01/25/14 02:49 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: broncoformudv]
Wolverinebait Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/29/11
Posts: 0
Loc: Tonsina, Alaska
Here's a couple pictures from past years from the exact spot on the highway where this happened,... this chute has avalanches that come down every winter, but very seldom do they hit the road. The first picture is from about 5 years ago, and it never even hit the river. And when they do hit the road, it hardly ever takes more than a couple hours or so to clear things out. But this time it not only came across the highway, but it's 50 feet high across the road, and at least several hundred feet wide (estimated).







This is looking upriver from the base of the chute, at the water in the Lowe River, in March. So this whole area right now is filled all the way across with snow, forming this snow dam that's holding back the river.





This is the closest road sign to that corner where this happened, (maybe mile from the corner), which if it's not wiped out by the avalanche, has water at least 10 feet over the top of it,.. again, all the way across the valley.

I can't find my glasses,... can someone tell me what it says,... ?? whistle





Edited by Wolverinebait (01/25/14 02:50 AM)
_________________________
If a man is out in the woods,... and says something,...

And no woman heard him,...

Was he still wrong,... ?

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#4268104 - 01/25/14 03:21 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2087
Loc: Homer, Alaska
Avalanche area next three miles. Do Not Stop

Thanks for the effort WB. Appreciate it.
_________________________
Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#4268250 - 01/25/14 07:31 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Recondo Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 382
Loc: Alaska
Good place to do a little prospecting this spring....definately gonna tear some land up... Hope everyone remains safe and damage to personal property is light.
_________________________
Be the solution not the problem vote Allen West for POTUS 2016 !!!

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#4268291 - 01/25/14 08:07 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
Recondo Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/28/06
Posts: 382
Loc: Alaska
Wonder if anyone has considered an airstrike on it. Think it would be better to blow it as soon as possible instead of allowing it to get even larger with time. Drawback is blowing it puts the damage incurred on the state...
_________________________
Be the solution not the problem vote Allen West for POTUS 2016 !!!

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#4268526 - 01/25/14 10:03 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
otterman Offline



Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 2397
Loc: SW Alaska
I see this morning the water has started to slowly release but the flash flood warning remains in effect
_________________________

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#4268545 - 01/25/14 10:18 AM Re: Valdez & Thompson Pass Avalanches [Re: Wolverinebait]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 1827
Loc: juneau, alaska
Man, that looks like the road out of here. Oh, yeah. We don't have one. wink Hope we never do.
_________________________
Intellectual capacity is no guarantee against being dead wrong.
Carl Sagan.

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