The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for the Jordan Creek area Friday morning.
According to the Weather Service stream gauges in the area, Jordan Creek topped 10.2 feet at 8:27 a.m. and was rising rapidly. Flood stage for the creek is 9.7 feet.
The creek is expected to crest at 10.5 feet by noon Friday.
That level is enough to put more than a foot of water into homes and businesses along the creek and to cover roads with water.
One of those businesses was Valley Chiropractic Clinic, located in the Jordan Creek Condominiums near McDonald’s. The parking lot of the condominium complex — which includes mostly medical practices — was flooded, forcing patients to wade through foot-deep water in some places to get to their appointments.
Dr. Tom Gundelfinger has seen floods like this before and spoke calmly as the rain continued to fall outside. There was a much worse flood in 1983, he recalled, when his young daughter watched with delight as salmon swam by the office’s stoop. As of noon Friday, nobody at Valley Chiropractic had spotted any fish swimming by.
Property Manager Tracey Ricker said that this is the worst flooding that she’s seen in this location. The buildings weren’t flooding yet Friday morning, she said, but some of the crawl spaces were starting to flood.
“We’re just telling everybody that this is gonna be here for a while,” Ricker said.
A woman named Rose, from Nizich Family Dental, said she expects the buildings to flood at some point. She appreciated the warning that the National Weather Service issued Friday morning, but admitted that she didn’t think it would be quite as bad as it was.
Around lunchtime, Rose splashed her way out of her office and headed for her car, where the water was covering half of her tires.
“I guess I should move my car out of the river,” she joked.
The flood warning will extend through 4 p.m. Friday.
According to Weather Service measurements, 2.16 inches of rain fell at Juneau International Airport between 7 a.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. Friday. In the Mendenhall Valley, 2.77 inches of rain fell. Downtown, 2.65 inches was reported. At higher elevations, even more rain was reported: 3.44 inches on Mount Roberts and 4.82 inches at the top of Eaglecrest.
Another 1-2 inches of rain is expected by noon.
The torrential rain, exceptional even by Juneau’s soggy seasonal standards, comes courtesy of Typhoon Lan, whose remnants have left Asia and have created an “atmospheric river” of subtropical moisture pointed at Southeast Alaska.
Conditions are expected to clear overnight, leaving mostly sunny skies Saturday and Sunday.
Beyond Jordan Creek, the Weather Service reported a small mudslide on Thane Road. Aurah Landau, a spokeswoman for the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, said that slide was cleared from the road about 6 a.m. The City and Borough of Juneau closed the Calhoun Avenue bridge over Gold Creek near Cope Park after a fast-flowing stream of runoff began eroding the bank near the bridge.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities reported a boulder, since removed, fell onto North Douglas Highway.
Landau wrote by email, “With heavy rainfall in the Juneau area over the last 24 hours, many creeks and culverts are running beyond their capacity. Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) asks drivers to use caution and drive slowly as they approach areas where water has topped the roadway. DOT&PF Maintenance and Operations staff are actively monitoring for flooding and are responding accordingly.”
• Contact reporter James Brooks at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 523-2258. Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or email@example.com.