Public Service: An Added Dimension, Fairbanks Flood 1967 - Part 4
This story about the university's important role in Fairbanks' 1967 flood appeared in July-August 1967 issue of Now in the North.
Neighboring residents responded with a variety of pumps but none had hoses. After
another urgent call, hoses were brought and plant workmen hurriedly improvised a Frankenstein-like
maze of pumps and hoses and the fight to keep the water down jumped into a higher
By 5 p.m. of that August 15, the battle to save the plant had gone on for nine hours and at that point, the army of volunteers and plant workmen were staying even with the flood waters.
From 5 to 6 p.m., the water rose to within an inch and a half of the control equipment
and the situation looked grim. A counter-attack by the pumps and volunteers gained
back a half-inch and that's the way things stayed for the next four hours—a stalemate.
At 11 p.m., the U.S. Army rushed a 12,000-gallon-a-minute pump to the scene and after that, the battle turned quickly. The flood waters retreated in the basement and the fight to save the plant was won. Later in the week, the plant again began receiving power front Golden Valley and the crisis began to ease even further.
At the end of two weeks the plant was back to normal operation and except for cleanup work, there was little evidence that the plant had been the focal point of one of the most dramatic developments in the university's role as an evacuation center.