Nearly 10 inches of rain fell over the weekend, resulting in a land slide in Granite Basin and a power outage in the Jackson Heights area.
5.75 inches of rain fell on Saturday, and another 3.7 inches fell on Sunday, for a total of 9.45 inches of rainfall over the weekend.
The rain triggered a landslide in Granite Basin, contaminating some of the city’s raw water supply. Granite Basin provides up to a third of the city’s raw water supply. Though there were still several million gallons of clean water in reservoirs throughout the city, Ketchikan Public Utilities asked residents to conserve water Sunday until the debris could be cleared. John Kleinegger is KPU’s water division manager.
“We know when there’s a heavy rainfall, it’s more than likely that the turbidity, which is suspended solids within the raw water, will increase,” Kleinegger said.
Kleinegger said the turbidity levels had been climbing since Saturday afternoon and peaked when the landslide happened at 3:30 Sunday morning. He said the muddy water would make the disinfection system ineffective, but the landslide essentially formed a dam, redirecting the water to Ketchikan Creek.
KPU resolved the situation early Sunday afternoon, and the conservation effort was called off.
The rain and wind also caused a burning cutout of a power line in the Jackson Heights area, leaving the area in the dark for half an hour on Sunday evening. Andy Donato is KPU’s electric division manager.
“It fatigued, again, probably because of the weather conditions and a wire dropped out of it, became disconnected and it dropped out of a transformer and that caused some further damage, accelerated the process of the outage,” Donato said.
Crews repaired the outage and he says power was restored after 32 minutes.
More wet weather is expected this week.