Skip to content
international shipping

Juneau

Alaska

This painting is an abstract aerial of the event below.

In early August 2023, Juneau Alaska made US national headlines with shocking videos of a beautiful (and large) house completely crumbling into Mendenhall River. Without prior knowledge of glacial melt, this seems a quite surprising force majeure. Opinion of whether or not this was avoidable can be informed by the data below. 15 million people worldwide live under threat of glacial flooding (within a 50km danger zone of glacial lakes). This particular region has flooded 30 times since 2011, yet in the image comparison you can see the condominium complex was built in 2017. What needs to change?

- Mendenhall Glacier melts into Suicide Basin (next to Suicide Glacier). The water is held back by the glacier, similar to a dam. The water escapes through subglacial release (water pressure lifts the glacier) into Mendenhall Lake, and finally into Mendenhall River.
-The flood on August 5, 2023 released 40% more water than the last record flood 7 years prior (July 2016). The river was flowing at more than six times its normal rate. It was an event that had just a 0.2 chance of happening, on the order of a 500-year flood.
-Glacial floods don’t follow clear patterns; they can fluctuate dramatically from one year to the next.
-Suicide Basin has flushed into Mendenhall Lake more than 30 times since 2011.
-The rate at which the icebergs within the basin are melting is accelerating.
-Glacial floods also happen in the Andes, Alps, and Himalayas.
-More than half of the people in glacial flood paths are concentrated in four countries: India, Pakistan, Peru, and China.
-The houses affected by the August 5th Mendenhall flood were set back over 50 feet from the bank, not technically in a designated flood zone.
-Residents affected are having their claims denied by insurance companies (even those whose homes were outside of FEMA designated flood zones).

Before
After