The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin


News briefs


August 16, 2017

Valdez Star photo

Long waits for lane openings at the Glacier Stream Bridge construction site have been a hallmark of the project.

Alcohol suspected

Valdez police say alcohol was a likely factor in a conspicuous rollover on the Duck Flats early Sunday.

The name of the driver is being withheld pending lab results.

The one-vehicle rollover was reported to emergency responders at 3:45 a.m. Sunday.

According to the city's public information office, responders found "...a black Ford F-250 on its side in the tidal flats off the north portion of the highway. The 31-year old male driver and sole occupant appeared to be trapped inside the truck due to extensive damage sustained to the vehicle during the rollover."

Valdez police used the Jaws of Life to free the man, who was treated for non-life threatening injuries and transported to the hospital.

The city says the preliminary investigation indicates that the driver of the pickup was passing another outbound vehicle during heavy rain and allegedly lost control of the truck.

No charges have been filed as of Monday.

The US Coast Guard surveyed the scene for possible fuel and oil pollutants.

Heavy rains

Yes - there were periods of heavy rain in Valdez last week.

Eric Cooper, who measures precipitation for the Valdez Avalanche Center and the National Weather Service, reports 3.23 inches of rain for the week running from Aug. 7-13.

The 2017 total stood at 28.37 inches for the between Jan. 1 through Aug. 13.

Bridge work

Construction work - and delays to traffic - will continue on the Glacier Stream Bridge.

ADOT - Alaska Dept. of Transportation - said last week that work on the bridge, located at milepost 1 of the Richardson Highway and the Lowe River Bridge at milepost 16, will be extended, possibly through the end of the month. The projects were slated to end Aug. 15.

ADOT says inclement weather played a roll in the completion delays.

The city's public information officer, Allie Ferko, said in an email last week that city officials have relayed citizen complaints to ADOT regarding long waits at the Glacier Stream Bridge site.

"For the Lowe River Bridge at MP16, traffic will remain one way even when work is not being conducted," Ferko said. "The wait time at the stoplight has been reduced to facilitate traffic flow, but motorists should expect up to a 10 minute wait. Flaggers and pilot cars may be used when ADOT is actively working on the bridge."

Threat to Alaska

(AP) Alaska Gov. Bill Walker said he didn't think North Korea would be able to strike the state with a nuclear warhead until 2020. But spiraling rumors about the country's missile capabilities and its leader Kim Jung Un's recent comments - coupled with President Donald Trump's statements - have led to him saying the state needs to expand its military presence.

Walker said earlier this week to Politico he was concerned about North Korea's threats to the U.S. and the Asian nation's claims that its missiles can hit Alaska, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported. But "no one's hiding under the desk," he said.

"It's actually, in some respects, gotten here sooner than we thought," Walker said. "So we're earlier than anticipated, and we want to make sure that we're well protected and everything."

The state has a Long Range Discrimination Radar under construction, which will give missile defenders a better look at what is happening over the Pacific Ocean, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said.

"We've been diligent to build the quality of our Missile Defense System," Murkowski said. "We must continue to be vigilant - now more than ever in light of the heightened threat."

Sen. Dan Sullivan said he, too, is concerned that Alaska is within North Korea's missile range.

Valdez Star photo

Wayne Wright - a volunteer with the Gideons - came to Valdez from Washington to ensure all hotels, the hospital and other institutions have a copy of the bible available for those passing through.

Adak shaker

(AP) A magnitude 4.6 earthquake has hit an island in Alaska's Aleutians chain.

The Alaska Earthquake Center reports that the earthquake struck 3:24 p.m. Sunday Alaska time on Adak Island near the far west end of the Aleutians. The center initially reported the earthquake had a magnitude of 4.2, but it is now reporting the magnitude is 4.6.

The epicenter was 8 miles (13 kilometers) southwest of the village of Adak, which has a population of about 300. The earthquake was 48 miles (76 kilometers) deep.

The center says there are no reports of damage.


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