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Kalskag remains on flood advisory, with ice jammed below the community

As of noon on Saturday (May 4), Upper and Lower Kalskag residents reported a rapid rise in water as ice started moving in front of town. According to one resident, water was about a foot below the power plant, but as of 12:00 p.m., power was still on in both Upper and Lower Kalskag.


Kalskag remains under flood advisory, as an ice jam on the Kuskokwim River below the community continues to cause minor flooding.

As of Saturday morning (May 4), the National Weather Service reported high water on both the Kuskokwim River and Mud Creek, behind Kalskag. Also as of Saturday morning, the road between Upper and Lower Kalskag was covered with a few feet of water and closed to vehicle traffic, although some residents reported moving around in canoes.

On Friday night (May 3), high water cut the community off from the airstrip, surrounded the school, and came within a few feet of the power plant. The next morning, residents in Upper and Lower Kalskag reported the situation hadn’t changed much overnight. Community members said they took night watch shifts to keep an eye on the water level at the power plant, and reported Saturday morning that power was still on, and would stay on unless water rose more.

Upriver, Aniak was removed from its flood watch Friday morning (May 3), as a jam cleared at Birch Crossing.

RiverWatch officials say in the coming days, cooler temperatures will slow the speed of breakup on the Kuskokwim. But up and down the river, they say that ice looks weak, and it’s not likely the colder weather will bring breakup to a complete halt.

On the Yukon River, breakup is a bit delayed. The river broke at Eagle on Friday, and as of Saturday morning, there was a flood watch in Circle because of the approaching breakup frog. Hydrologists said that while water levels in Galena were rising slowly, there weren’t yet signs of breakup.

Find photos from Friday’s Kuskokwim RiverWatch flight here.

Breakup and flood-related information can change quickly, and this article may be updated to reflect more current information.

Share photos or observations with KYUK at 907-543-0223 or by emailing

Sage Smiley is KYUK's news director.