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.

 

 

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A raven’s eye tour of Fairbanks

Flying into Fairbanks one day in 2008 the airplane took an unusual route.  Instead of coming in from the southwest it came in from the southeast, flying over Harding Lake and Salcha and circling over Farmers Loop across north of town into the airport.  Maybe this direction of landing is normal, I don’t know, I have never experienced it before, but this day happened to be beautifully clear and I captured some great photos of the Tanana River and various Fairbanks landmarks.

Click on the first one and then scroll to the right for an overhead, raven’s eye, tour of Fairbanks.