POTENTIAL FLOODING DUE TO ICE DAM RELEASE ABOVE VALDEZ GLACIER LAKE

PUBLIC SAFETY ANNOUNCEMENT


Valdez Glacier Stream is currently experiencing rising water levels due to the biannual release from the ice dammed lake above Valdez Glacier.

The lake, formed by run-off water pooling behind glacial formations, is located in the mountains above Valdez Glacier. When enough water pools behind the ice dam, the pressure causes the ice to rise, allowing the lake to drain down the mountain into the
Valdez Glacier Lake and Valdez Glacier Stream. This is called an “outburst event” and may
cause flooding and an increase of ice in the lake and stream.

Dr. Gabriel Wolken of the Alaska Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys notified
City officials late Thursday that the ice dammed lake appears to have crossed the
threshold to rapid drainage, signaling the start of the summer outburst event.

The City of Valdez encourages campers, kayakers, and boaters to use extra precautions
while recreating in or around Valdez Glacier Lake and Valdez Glacier Stream. Should an
outburst event occur, remember to move immediately to higher ground and avoid
walking or driving through flood waters.