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The original item was published from 6/12/2023 11:10:16 AM to 7/17/2023 10:51:04 AM.

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Posted on: June 12, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Public Safety Announcement: Outburst Event - Ice Dam Release Above Glacier Lake

COV Public Safety Announcement

PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT

Potential Flood Warning

mapimage of lake








For immediate release:  06.12.2023, 10:30 a.m.  

The Valdez Glacier ice-dammed lake (IDL) began releasing this morning. Water levels on the Valdez Glacier Stream can be expected to rise approximately 3 feet over the next 24-36 hours as the glacier dam releases. Additional rises are expected through this afternoon (Monday), cresting early to mid-day tomorrow (Tuesday). No significant flooding is expected at this time.

The IDL is formed by water pooling next to glacial formations located several miles up the Valdez Glacier. When enough water pools behind the IDL, water may begin to flow on top of the glacier, and pressure causes the ice to rise, allowing the lake to drain down the mountain into the Valdez Glacier Lake and Valdez Glacier Stream. This is called an “outburst event” and may cause erosion, flooding, and buoyancy of icebergs in the lake. Lake ice is unstable and can shift or move without warning, but it is especially active during outbursts. It is important to take extreme caution when recreating in the area and avoid the stream, stream banks, and ice as water levels rise and fall.

Outburst events occur bi-annually, typically in mid-June because of heavy summer snowmelt, but less frequently in the Fall when attributed to glacial meltwater and heavy rain. 

To read the NWS Special Weather Statement, visit https://bit.ly/3CvcZSR. City officials are monitoring this event.

The City of Valdez encourages residents and visitors to use extra precautions while recreating in or around Valdez Glacier Lake and Valdez Glacier Stream and to avoid Glacier Haul Dump Road. If a rise in the lake or stream occurs, remember to move immediately to higher ground and avoid walking or driving through flood waters.  

To learn more about the ice-dammed lake, visit https://bit.ly/3pB7JGa

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Contact: Ana Stroup, communications director, (907) 834-3400 or astroup@valdezak.gov  

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