On Saturday evening, the National Weather Service (NWS) updated the conditions outlook for Alaska's Southcentral region to include a flood advisory for Anchorage and an upgrade from flood "watch" to "warning" in Prince William Sound. All of this is, of course, in addition to the hazardous condition warning already in place for the area.
According to NWS Special Weather Statement, Anchorage residents should expect strong winds and heavy rains. Chester Creek, Campbell Creek, Ship Creek, Eagle Creek and other rivers and streams in the Anchorage bowl are under a flood advisory until 10 a.m. Monday. Forecasters predict that those waterways and other small streams "will see rapid rises to bankfull levels with potential for minor flooding of low areas." Areas with drainage issues are also at risk of overflowing in what are expected to be torrential rains.
Meanwhile, in Prince William Sound, NWS has upgraded its midday flood "watch" to a full blown "warning," meaning heavy rains and flood potential is "imminent." Water ways in Seward, including Resurrection River, Salmon Creek and others are under flood warning until 10 a.m. on Monday. NWS reports that "Seward area rain gages are approaching 1 inch of precipitation already" with much heavier rainfall expected over the weekend and into Monday, as much as 9 inches total.
In addition to flood advisories and warnings, "high wind warning" for Southcentral, including Anchorage and nearby communities to the south, remains in effect from 10 p.m. this evening until 4 p.m. on Sunday. East winds through Portage Valley and along Turnagain Arm are expected to blow between 35 to 55 MPH, with gusts of 70 to 85 MPH. Wind is expected to "peak during the day on Sunday as a weather front moves through the region." By Sunday afternoon, however, the weather will "begin diminishing slowly."
The impact of this new storm is not expected to be as significant as the most recent high windstorm that knocked out power to tens of thousands of Anchorage residents last week, but the danger is real.
Officials urge the public to secure any loose equipment or items that will be left out during the storm, and to closely monitor the situation as it develops. And warns that if you encounter a rushing stream or overflow atop a roadway, don't attempt to cross. Turn around, don't drown.