A sign warns pedestrians of the flooded bike path under the Veteran's Memorial Bridge as the water level continues to rise in the Chena River Friday afternoon, August 16, 2019. Eric Engman/News-Miner

Water levels for the Chena River, Tanana River and Salcha River continued to recede Saturday but some low lying areas were still underwater.

The Tanana River near Fairbanks was at 24.78 as of 1 p.m. Saturday, down from a peak of 26.1 feet recorded at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The river reached the flood stage of 24.5 feet just before noon Tuesday, forcing some residents in the Rosie Creek Road area to move their vehicles to higher ground and walk to and from their homes. 

A flood warning for that area was extended until 9 a.m. Sunday, according to Luke Culver, a meteorologist at the Fairbanks office of the National Weather Service.

“The river has gone down a lot but the water kind of sticks around a little bit longer there because it’s such a low area. It will gradually fall over the next several days,” Culver said Saturday.

Residents in the hardest hit area of Perkins Drive, Melanie Lane and Chief John Drive reported on social media Saturday that the water had receded at least a foot in some places. A 3 p.m. Facebook post by a Melanie Lane resident reported the water was 15 inches deep at the lowest spot in the road.

The Salcha River near Salcha crested at 17 feet Wednesday night and impacted access to the campground and boat launch at the Salcha River State Recreation Site. The river was at 12.3 feet Saturday afternoon and the flood warning was no longer in effect. Salcha residents in the area between the Tanana River and the Richardson Highway reported covered roads in low lying areas on Friday. Water levels fell by Saturday and were expected to continue doing so throughout the weekend. 

The Chena River experienced minor flooding Thursday and Friday upstream of the Nordale Road Bridge. Water levels decreased considerably by Saturday afternoon and the flood warning was set to expire at 7 p.m. as levels continued to fall.   

“It looks like everything has fallen out of flood stage, so there really shouldn’t be too many impacts left through the rest of today,” Culver said. “The whole Chena Basin has dropped off quite a bit. It’s falling much faster than the Tanana.”

Culver said the light rain forecast for Sunday afternoon and evening is not expected to increase river levels but will likely slow down the retreat of water from low lying roads and properties such as those in the Rosie Creek area. 

Contact staff writer Dorothy Chomicz at 459-7582. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMcrime.