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Kalskag, Kuskokwim Delta placed under flood advisory; Aniak remains under flood watch

River conditions at Lower Kalskag on May 2, 2024.
National Weather Service
River conditions at Lower Kalskag on May 2, 2024.

Kalskag and the Kuskokwim Delta were placed under a flood advisory on Friday morning (May 3).

RiverWatch observers report rising water at and below Kalskag on the Kuskokwim, caused by an ice jam as the river breaks up.

Mark Leary, with Bethel Search and Rescue, said Friday morning (around 9:45 a.m.) that the water was approaching Kalskag High School. He added that the rising was too deep on the road between Lower and Upper Kalskag for safe travel.

Just upriver, Aniak remains under flood watch because of the potential for ice jam flooding as well.

Officials say residents around Aniak, Upper and Lower Kalskag and below Kalskag should stay alert and prepare to move to higher ground if water rises.

On May 3, RiverWatch plans to fly from Bethel to upstream of Chuathbaluk along the river with a stop in Aniak to assess backwater from Birch Crossing ice jam, then fly back downriver with probable stops in Akiak, Kwethluk, and Tuluksak to meet with communities. They’ll continue downriver to the most downstream ice edge and then return to Bethel, unless conditions warrant returning upstream to assess ice and breakup front conditions.

Find photos from RiverWatch flights on May 2 here.

While the early forecast for breakup this year looked like it might be a bit later than average, steadily warming weather has brought breakup to some upper- and middle-Kuskokwim communities a few days ahead of normal – for example, McGrath broke up on May 1, just before 2:00 p.m., a few days before its average breakup date of May 4, and Aniak broke up early May 2, three days before its median breakup date.

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.