DHS&EM 26 March 2009 Situation Report 09-085Postmark
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From:Thursday, March 26, 2009 1:24 PM -0800
Subject:DHS&EM 26 March 2009 Situation Report 09-085 

SITUATION REPORT 09-085 (as of 11:00 AM, 26 March 2009)

Homeland Security Advisory System – National Level:  Yellow-Elevated
Homeland Security Advisory System – Alaska Level:  Yellow-Elevated
Maritime Security (MARSEC) Level – Level I – Low.
Military installations in Alaska are at FPCON A.
State of Alaska Cyber Security Alert Level: Guarded
World Health Organization Pandemic Phase - Phase 3: No or very limited human-to-human transmission (An Influenza Pandemic situation report, which contains an explanation of the WHO Pandemic Phases, is attached to this situation report and updated every Tuesday)

State of Alaska Situation
(Updates to this section from previous Situation Report are in Italics.)

State of Alaska Situation
DHS&EM continues to closely monitor the Redoubt volcanic situation.

Alaska Volcano
Alaska Volcano Observatory Current Status Report, 26 March 2009
Redoubt Volcano
Current Aviation Color Code: RED
Current Volcano Alert Level: WARNING
A large eruption of Redoubt volcano occurred at 09:24 AKDT this morning. National Weather Service reports the cloud height to be at least 65,000 ft above sea level and pilot reports indicated a plume height of 60,000 ft. Since this event, a few smaller events have occurred but these did not generate plumes above about 20,000 feet.

The eruption at 9:24 AKDT also produced a lahar in the Drift River valley that was detected by seismic instruments.

An ashfall advisory is in effect until 4 PM for the western Kenai Peninsula. High level ash (above 30,000 feet) is forecast to pass over Anchorage, but is not expected to produce ash fall. For more information refer to the NWS Redoubt Coordination web page (http://pafc.arh.noaa.gov/volcano.php) for latest ash cloud information.

AVO is monitoring the situation closely, the observatory is staffed 24/7, and attempts to overfly the volcano will occur as soon as possible.


The National Weather in Anchorage has issued the following:
Flash Flood Warning
A flash flood warning for Drift River until 300 pm due to Mt Redoubt Volcano eruption. The volcano eruption can cause melting snow and ice on the mountain resulting in high water and flash flooding along Drift River draining from the mountain.

Special Weather Statement
Anchorage including Anchorage, Eagle River, Indian and Eklutna. No ashfall is expected in anchorage.  Low level ash clouds from this morning's eruptions of Mt Redoubt are tracking southeastward toward the southwestern Kenai Peninsula. High level ash clouds up above 30000 feet are headed for Anchorage and will affect aviation. However, ash at these levels typically will not fall to the ground. Therefore, no ashfall is expected in the anchorage area.

Ashfall Advisory
Western Kenai Peninsula including the Cities of Kenai, Soldotna, Homer and Cooper Landing. Ashfall advisory remains in effect until 4 pm this afternoon due to Mount Redoubt’s multiple eruption this morning. The most significant eruption occurred around 9:24 am with a plume rising to at least 65000 feet. Ash from these eruptions will track to the Kenai Peninsula with estimated arrival of ash between noon and 2 pm. Minor ashfall is likely from Ninilchik southward to the southern tip of the Kenai Peninsula including Homer and communities along Kachemak Bay. A trace to one eight of an inch of ash may accumulate this afternoon. Trace amounts of ash are also possible for areas north of Ninilchik.

Marine Weather Statement
Ashfall advisory in effect until 4 pm this afternoon for Cook Inlet and Kachemak Bay.  Mount Redoubt erupted multiple times this morning with the most significant eruption occurred around 9:24 am this morning with a plume rising to at least 65000 feet. Ash from these eruptions will move east to southeastward across Cook Inlet and is expected to reach the Kachemak Bay area between 12 pm and 2 pm this afternoon. Minor amounts of ash are expected to fall to the surface through this afternoon. Vessels in these areas should exercise caution.

Aviation Weather
Significant aviation weather forecast updates link: http://aawu.arh.noaa.gov/aawuapps/sigmets.php

Blizzard Warning
Alaska Peninsula -- blizzard warning now in effect until 6 pm this evening

Travel Advisory
Update:  Dalton Highway
Dalton Highway: Travel advisory for Milepost 156 through 165 has been lifted.  The truck blocking the northbound lane at 156 has been cleared and the winds have died down at MP 165. Continue to watch for equipment and crews out on the road as they are still clearing some sections.

Useful link:
Air Quality Advisories & Alerts from the AK Department of Environmental Conservation: http://www.dec.state.ak.us/air/volcano.htm or http://www.dec.state.ak.us/air/am/aq_sr.htm
Airport Flight Status (Anchorage) http://aia-mufids.dot.state.ak.us/
Oil and Hazardous Substance Releases:  Photographs and spill information "Quick Links: Active Spill Responses":  http://www.state.ak.us/dec/spar/perp/index.htm 
Road Information:  can be found at http://511.Alaska.gov/ or call 511.
Volcano:  Current Volcano information: http://www.avo.alaska.edu
Aviation color codes and Volcano alert levels: http://www.avo.alaska.edu/color_codes.php
Weather: Current Public and Marine Hazards and Regional News http: http://www.arh.noaa.gov/

The Next Situation Report: will be published as of 11:00 am, 27 March 2009. A significant change in the situation or the threat level will prompt an interim report. Please direct questions regarding this report to the SECC at 907-428-7100 or secc@ak-prepared.com.

How to reach the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management: Phone the State Emergency Coordination Center (SECC) by dialing (907) 428-7100 or 1-800-478-2337, 24 hours per day.  Information on emergency topics is available on the Division's web site at http://www.ak-prepared.com.  Homeland Security information may be found at http://www.ak-prepared.com/homelandsecurity/

How to reach the Division of Administration – State Cyber Security Program:  If you have questions you may contact Darrell Davis, State Computer Security Officer darrel.davis@Alaska.gov.

For further information:
Being prepared: Ready.gov
Countries:              U.S. State Department Background Notes.
Maps:           United Nations Cartographic Section
                University of Texas Library Map Section.