Fairbanks is saved by the dam…again!

Recently Fairbanks and the surrounding areas have been getting a lot of rain.  So when Jack and I visited the Chena Dam the other day the floodgates had been lowered in order to prevent high water from flowing downstream toward Fairbanks.  This results in the river backing up into the reservoir area behind the dam but saves Fairbanks as it has many times since it was built almost 40 years ago.

Dermot Cole of Alaska Dispatch News wrote in 2014 when the floodgates were lowered then that Fairbanks’ “most effective flood insurance policy … takes the form of an unusual dam with four 30-ton gates that operate like giant garage doors, stemming the flow of high water when the river rises. The floodgates are one element in an extensive federal flood control project that cost a quarter-billion dollars by the time of its completion in 1979.”

Click on the first photo and scroll to the right to read the captions.

For more info:  a slideshow on the Army Corp website and this pamphlet for a little more in depth information.

 

 

Cow moose with twins…!

Jack and I had an amazing moose experience in Healy a few days ago.  Otto Lake is moose haven.  We saw at least 6 moose in a 24 hour period.  Here is a photo story of a cow moose and her two babies, and her yearling that she is trying to shoo away.  Be sure to click on the first one and scroll to the right to see how it all went down.

Jack’s first heavy haul load

This was Jack’s first heavy haul load.  He wasn’t actually part of the a heavy haul division yet but obviously it was a landmark load for him.

You can see the partially melted snow and the dry road.  We are almost to that point in the year right now, and you can probably believe that it is an exciting time for us Alaskans who have snow 8 or 9 months of the year!

Happy Spring and Happy Easter!

Jack's first heavy haul load

Load of pipe goes off the road

The drive line of this truck broke coming down 5 mile last summer.  Just like putting it in neutral, the motor didn’t help slow him down.  While trying to stop the truck going downhill the driver smoked his brakes, then coasted up 6 mile hill.  His brakes wouldn’t hold him when he coasted to a stop, they were too hot.  So then he rolled backwards into the ditch.  There’s more than accidents that go on up on the road but most of it isn’t exciting enough to post.:)

Click to enlarge.

 

Tire fire & burned trailer

Here’s a few photos of a burned trailer Jack took some years ago.  He came across it north of Coldfoot.  He’s not sure how the tires caught fire, but somehow they did.  It could’ve been that the driver got a couple of flat tires and kept driving, or that the brakes locked up.  He suspects the brakes did not release for some reason.  There’s more explanation on the captions, click on the first one and scroll to the right to see them all.

Smashed truck!

Jack doesn’t remember much of a back story on this but it happened a few years ago and no one died.  It went off the road and rolled over.  Yikes!  (Click for a larger view.)

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