DHS&EM Daily Situation Report 09-125 for May 5, 2009Postmark
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From:Tuesday, May 5, 2009 10:35 AM -0800
Subject:DHS&EM Daily Situation Report 09-125 for May 5, 2009 
Today’s Situation Report email contains the following attachments:
- DHS&EM Daily Situation Report 09-125 for May 5, 2009
- 2009 River Watch - Flooding Sit Rep 5.4.09.pdf
- DHSS A-H1N1 Influenza Outbreak Situation Report for 5-04-09.pdf
- Riverwatch and H1N1 Outbreak IAP 5.5.09.pdf - Incident Action Plan for the H1N1 and Riverwatch Unified Command
- Whittier Update - Passenger and Freight Transportation.pdf - Alaska Railroad Corporation News Release

Blackberry Users Section

This section is for Blackberry users who have trouble reading the normal sitrep on their Blackberries.  It only contains new or significantly updated items from the DHS&EM Daily Situation Report.
(Significant changes from previous reports are in red)

Operational Environment
A Unified Command has been established at the SECC.  It is comprised of DHS&EM and DHSS staff members.

There is widespread ice jam flooding affecting many communities throughout the state.

Two Riverwatch teams have deployed, one is based out of Aniak, and the other is based out of Circle Hot Springs.

Activity at Redoubt Volcano is increasing, an explosive eruption is likely in the next few days.

• Significant Weather:
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for the following areas:
• The Yukon River from Eagle to Circle until 10:00 pm Wednesday.  A significant ice jam continues to hold on the Yukon River at Eagle. The ice jam has dammed up the river which resulted in the worst flooding in recorded history. The old village of Eagle and portions of town have been entirely destroyed. The Yukon River is also rising from Eagle to Circle City and additional ice jams are expected to form.  The ice jam in Eagle began shifting Monday evening and water levels started to fluctuate dramatically. Rising water pushed ice over the retaining wall and slammed house size chunks into buildings along Front Street. An additional rise in water levels early Tuesday morning lifted some buildings along Front Street off of their foundations and sent them down the Yukon River. Other buildings near the river have been significantly damaged and are unsalvageable. The road to the airport is underwater and water and ice have risen to one end of the city runway. Power lines to the old and new village have been knocked down and left portions of the area without electricity. As of 7 am water levels appear to have stabilized and may be slowly falling. Local residents estimate that the water has risen to more than 10 feet higher than the flood of record. Water levels will continue to fluctuate in Eagle until the ice jam has completely flushed downriver.
A report from people living 12 miles downstream from Eagle indicated that the water was rising rapidly there. Rapid increases in the water level downstream from Eagle to Circle can be expected as the ice and the water backed up at Eagle move downstream. Additional ice jams are expected to form.
Farther downriver, the Yukon River has been rising in Circle and the river ice is beginning to lift up and shift. A large volume of water is expected to move down the Yukon River towards Circle when the ice jam now downstream from eagle releases. Water levels will rise rapidly downstream of Eagle between now and Wednesday. It is possible that Circle could experience the worst flooding in recent memory.
• The Village of Aniak on the Kuskokwim River until 12:00 pm Tuesday.   At 1:42 PM the ice jam at Aniak appears to have released and the river has fallen slightly. It is likely that the ice jam will reform further downstream and prevent the floodwater from receding completely.

• H1N1 Flu Outbreak
The ongoing outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1) continues to expand in the United States and internationally. CDC expects that more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths from this outbreak will occur over the coming days and weeks.
CDC continues to take aggressive action to respond to an expanding outbreak caused by novel H1N1 flu.
CDC’s response goals are to:
 1. Reduce transmission and illness severity, and
  2. Provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this emergency.
CDC continues to issue and update interim guidance daily in response to the rapidly evolving situation. CDC will issue updated interim guidance for clinicians on how to identify and care for people who are sick with novel H1N1 flu illness. This guidance will provide priorities for testing and treatment for novel H1N1 flu infection. The priority use for influenza antiviral drugs during this outbreak will be to treat people with severe flu illness.
Officials with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services are keeping an eye on the developing H1N1 flu outbreak in the Lower 48 and Mexico. There are no known cases of H1N1 influenza in Alaska.  Health officials are advising that anyone returning from the Southwest or Mexico who becomes ill with flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, aching muscles, cough, and runny nose) contact his or her health-care provider.   “At this time, standard practices are still the best measures for avoiding the flu,” said Dr. Jay Butler, chief medical officer for the state of Alaska. “Hand washing, covering your cough, staying home if you’re sick — these are still the best ways to stay healthy and to avoid spreading germs when you are ill.”
        For more information, please see http://www.pandemicflu.alaska.gov/ and http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/
        Yesterday’s DHSS H1N1 Situation Report has been attached to today’s Situation Report email.

• Redoubt Volcano
The DHS&EM Response section continues to monitor the ongoing eruption of Redoubt Volcano.  The Response section is coordinating with federal, state and local agencies and officials to ensure accurate and timely dissemination of information.
The AVO reports that seismic and rockfall activity are increasing. An explosive eruption is likely in the coming days and could occur at any time with little or no warning.  The growing lava dome is becoming increasingly unstable and should a dome failure occur, it likely would result in a significant explosion producing high altitude (>30,000 ft ASL) ash plumes, trace to minor ash fall in parts of south-central Alaska, lahars in the Drift River Valley, and pyroclastic flows in the immediate vicinity of the volcano.
The Aviation Color Code is ORANGE and the Volcano Alert Level is WATCH.  There are no ashfall advisories in effect at this time.
For the current status and additional information on Redoubt Volcano, see the AVO website at http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Redoubt.php.
Please see http://www.dec.state.ak.us/air/volcano.htm for current information on volcanic ashfall from volcanoes with elevated activity.
Please see http://www.dec.state.ak.us/air/am/aq_sr.htm for current air quality advisories and alerts.


David Lee
Emergency Management Specialist
State Emergency Coordination Center
Alaska Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management
PO Box 5750
Fort Richardson, AK 99505
Direct Line:  907-428-7087
SECC: 907-428-7100
SECC Toll Free: 1-800-478-2337
SECC FAX: 428-7095