Cordova Continues to Dig Out
Tremendous snowfall has state responding
From the State of Alaska:
Emergency Assistance En Route to Cordova
State Emergency Operations Center Musters Resources from Multiple Sources
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – In response to the City of Cordova disaster declaration, the State of Alaska has activated its State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) to promptly facilitate the city’s request for snow removal equipment and operators, labor support, and assistance with shelter operations.
The danger posed by avalanche hazards and potential roof collapses to life and critical infrastructure has resulted in a coordinated effort by multiple state agencies to provide assistance, particularly before the upcoming snowstorms in the Prince William Sound area.
The SEOC is dispatching avalanche kits containing a beacon, probe and shovel to supplement existing kits in Cordova which snow removal crews keep with them as they continually work to clear critical roads in the area.
A request from the city to the SEOC for dedicated labor to assist in clearing snow from essential pathways will be fulfilled by a detachment of no less than 50 National Guard members. The National Guard is planned to arrive in Cordova Sunday.
Requests for heavy equipment and operators are being coordinated with private companies to supply four front-end loaders, one dump truck, one grader, and one snowmelter, with operators sufficient to run 24-hours, are en route to assist the city.
Cordova continues its own efforts to remove obstructive snow and establish proactive measures for future potential issues. Local road crews have reopened one lane of the Copper River Highway to allow limited access to the airport during daylight hours only. The Bidarki Recreation Center has been designated as a shelter and is open as needed to residents who chose to relocate due to avalanche or roof-collapsing dangers. The City of Cordova has an information hotline (907) 424-8888 to keep residents informed on the status of events.
Three Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHS&EM) staff members are in Cordova to provide direct emergency management support.
The National Weather Service forecasts precipitation to continue throughout this evening. Moderate rain and/or snow will persist overnight, changing to all snow by the morning. Ceilings and visibility will improve late in the day on Sunday, with continued improvement overnight. Another storm approaching will bring snow to the area Tuesday morning, turning to rain that afternoon.