High water moves Alaska regatta into parking lot

FAIRBANK, Alaska (AP) -- High water forced the cancellation of the Red Green Regatta in Fairbanks over the weekend, with the fun moved off the water and into a parking lot.

Participants, who build floats from recycled materials and a required minimum of one roll of duct tape, had been warned last week to plan for less clearance under bridges than in the past and to consider adjustments for tall boats. The main concern was with the low hang of the Veterans Memorial Bridge, which only allowed for several feet of clearance in the days leading to Sunday's scheduled regatta.

Gretchen Gordon, assistant general manager at KUAC, which sponsored the event, said organizers went over their options, including possibly changing the route or pushing the regatta back. But she said a suitable alternative route could not be found and they were skeptical they'd be able to run the event in the next few weeks given how rainy the summer has been.

Water levels on the Chena River peaked between Thursday and Friday before beginning to fall, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported (http://bit.ly/1nb08sw ). A forecast earlier in the week had estimated the river would fall between 5 feet and 6 feet by Sunday. It was 5.7 feet by noon on Sunday.

In the end, the event was moved off the water, and into a parking lot, where entries were judged.

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Information from: Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner, http://www.newsminer.com

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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