Focal Point

Focal Point is an evolving blog from the ADN photo staff, Bob Hallinen, Erik Hill, Marc Lester, Bill Roth and photo editor Anne Raup. Email your ideas and news tips to photo@adn.com | About the blog

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Butte residents say the Matanuska River threatens their home

Dan and Pat Huddleson.Dan and Pat Huddleson.Butte residents Dan and Pat Huddleson have a beautiful overlook of the Matanuska River from the top of a dike at the edge of their property. The view, near mile 13 of the Old Glenn Highway, got a little more peculiar and much more alarming earlier this week when a house fell into the river about a mile upstream and came to rest a few hundred yards from their 6-acre parcel. “I’m going to lose all my property if they don’t do something up here real soon,” Pat said Wednesday.

As upsetting as it is to see the submerged house, the Huddlesons say they aren’t surprised. The couple says they’ve watched the dike, which they say was built in the mid-80s, erode from a width of 20-feet to it’s current width of about 5 feet. They blame the current situation on a lack of upkeep on the dike. “These houses wouldn’t be in the river if they would’ve done maintenance,” Dan says. Listen to the audio below for more of the couple’s perspective.
Wreckage of a cabin is partially submerged in the Matanuska River near the Butte on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Christopher Wenner and his wife Daina Mirsch-Wenner own the house that went into the river after erosion peeled away some of his land. They were using it as a rental property and living in a house behind it that they fear will soon be in the river too.Wreckage of a cabin is partially submerged in the Matanuska River near the Butte on Wednesday, August 29, 2012. Christopher Wenner and his wife Daina Mirsch-Wenner own the house that went into the river after erosion peeled away some of his land. They were using it as a rental property and living in a house behind it that they fear will soon be in the river too.

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