Flood Mitigation in Outlying Areas

By Heidi Zemach
The Kenai Peninsula Borough road crew is hoping for a break in the weather soon so they can get started working on rebuilding the temporary levee at Box Canyon that was completely leveled sometime Wednesday evening, said Henry Knackstedt, the borough roads engineer, and also the incident commander representing the borough here in Seward. The temporary levee or dam structure was probably destroyed by a surge from the mountains above, when materials slid down to the bottom of the valley, he said. Box Canyon is a particularly dangerous drainage to be working in because the valley becomes very narrow and steep, Water can build up, and discharge very rapidly.

The levee is about a quarter of a mile long. It will take about a week to repair fully, he said. It will have to be rebuilt from the bottom of the drainage, up. Because of the dangers inherent in working in the area, with gravel material so susceptible to slides, the borough will need two pieces of equipment there working together, a D8 and D9 bulldozer, Knackstedt said. He hoped they could begin with the work Friday, weather permitting.

The temporary dyke generally has steered the water to the right side, into a drainage where there is no development or infrastructure. But now it is making a hard left turn downward, through the trees, and then flows down Old Exit Glacier Road, by dog musher Dan Seavey’s home. There are a few other homes in the area experiencing flooding, he said.


The borough crews were busy fighting flooding on a number of different fronts in outlying areas of Seward Thursday. Much of the time, they were working in the creek bed, shoring up areas along Old Mill Subdivision’s Lost Creek Bridge, and Sometimes Creek, areas that they had helped shore up not long ago.
They also had crews, and used the same bulldozers in the Questa Woods/Stoney Creek and Bruno Road area. They worked upstream of Bruno Bridge at first, and then worked downstream at the lower end, beyond the paved area to shore up the sides of the creek where the water was threatening to flood some homes there, Knackstedt said. Later Thursday, they planned to work at the upper end of the Kwechak (or Glacier) Creek, near the mountains, where there is another water diversion structure a way up the jeep trail at the end of the road that runs by the fish hatchery. That structure helps protect the Bear Lake areas and nearby subdivisions, Knackstedt said. According to a borough press dispatch this evening, the Bear Glacier Levee has been breached; causing extreme flooding in Bruno area at Questa Woods Subdivision.

Kwechak Creek is located between the Bear Lake and Questa Woods subdivisions at approximately milepost 5.5 of the Seward Highway. It is glacial fed and its terminus is where it meets with Salmon Creek at approximately milepost 4.8.



  1. Kudos to the Seward City News for providing the best current information to the citizens of the Seward area about the current flood situation. You have done an amazing job!

  2. Years ago, there was a game show called “The Weakest Link.”

    All too often, in an emergency, communication is the weakest link.

    I also am very glad that SCN is up and running and has so many contributors providing the most up to date information on this natural disaster that is affecting every single one of us.

    It is great to see everyone pitching in and working as a community. It makes me proud to call Seward my home.

  3. As of 6:26 am, one flagger at Nash Road mile 2. Road is clear.
    Flaggers still at Seward Highway mile 3.5. Water has subsided little, becareful crossing.