Extreme flooding has overtaken the Dalton Hwy just south of Deadhorse, prompting the DOT to close the highway north of milepost 375. At some locations, over two feet of water is flowing over the road.
This is the second time this year that the Sagavanirktok River has forced the closing of the Dalton. In March, river overflow sent water and ice over the road, forcing its closure.
There is no time frame for the road to reopen. The river is expected to crest in four days, meaning the “Haul Road” may be closed at least a week.
I have already seen several early tourists on motorcycles coming back from the Dalton. I was wondering if they tried to make it to Deadhorse, considering the amount of mud packed onto their bikes. Now it looks like they wouldn’t have had to ride very far to collect all that mud.
The Dalton is an interesting road. I’ve driven up it when I needed four wheel drive for a hundred or more miles, and you couldn’t tell what color the truck was when I was done. I’ve also driven it in the Beetle, when we simply cruised the entire way and only sent clouds of dust in the air behind us.
Photo credit: Alaska DOT