Kuskokwim River Breaches Banks At Napaimute

Apr 29, 2020

Break-up begins on the Kuskokwim River in front of Napaimute, Alaska on April 29, 2020.
Credit Ben Leary / KYUK

The ice broke up in front of Napaimute around 1 a.m. on April 29. Resident Ben Leary reported that the fast moving river flooded the bank later that morning, with water levels going halfway up his smokehouse.

Leary said that he expected it to flood, but not as high or as fast as it did. And it is not over. He said that there is still plenty of ice upstream on the Kuskokwim, so he expects more flooding to come. As of 1 p.m. on April 29, he reported that the water had gone up quite a bit, but appeared to have stopped. He said that the water is still fairly deep. 

Ben Leary of Napaimute advises people to secure their belongings and anticipate flood waters to rise quickly. April 29, 2020 in Napaimute, Alaska.
Credit Ben Leary / KYUK

Leary advised others on the river to not make any assumptions on how high the water will rise, like he did. Hesaid that he was caught off guard. He expected some flooding, but did not expect the water to get high as it did at Napaimute. He advised people to tie things down that might float away, and move things to higher ground. He added that low villages without cut banks are at the highest risk right now.