Alaska Flooding Forces Evacuations

May 11, 2009

Elders and pregnant women have been evacuated from a flooded Kuskokwim River village in Alaska.

Bryan Fisher, an incident commander with the state Division of Homeland Safety and Emergency Management, says 37 people including four pregnant women were flown from Akiak to Bethel on May 9.

Fisher says most of the remaining residents in the village of 350 are staying at the local school.

Also vulnerable is the Yukon River community of Stevens Village, 90 miles northwest of Fairbanks.

A massive ice jam eight miles downriver is causing waters to rise swiftly around the village. Fisher says an evacuation of about 30 women and children is under way.

Meanwhile, cleanup continues in Eagle after a devastating flood caused by ice jams from the Yukon River caused extensive damage. Floodwaters also had covered a taxiway in Fort Yukon but have now subsided.

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