National Guard Continues Work in Cordova
Community grateful for help after massive snowstorm
CORDOVA, ALASKA – Alaska National Guard members have cleared roads and the roofs of buildings last night and today. Without the Guard here, Cordova residents might be facing an even bigger disaster and the weariness that goes with it.
“I don’t know if Cordovans get exhausted but they get frustrated.” Jim Nygaard is Cordova’s school district superintendent. He’s grateful that the Guard showed up when they did. The school roof he watched them clear on Monday is a symbol of relief. “This is a high energy community and I have yet to see anyone back away from a challenge. But the fatigue is starting to surface. But with a day like today, with the National Guard here, it’s going to put a burst of energy in the community. And we’re going to be alright.“
Cordova is a small fishing village on the edge of Prince William Sound. It is best known as the operating base for the fleet that provides the world each May with its famed Copper River king and sockeye salmon. Many of the boats wintered over in Cordova’s Harbor were in danger of capsizing last weekend because of the more than 56 inches of snow the area has received since January 1, 2012.
*EDITOR'S NOTE* It had been incorrectly reported that 18 feet of snow had fallen in Cordova during recent weeks prior to the publishing of this article. Eighteen feet of precipitation had fallen between November 1, 2011 and when this article was originally published.
The Alaska National Guard arrived here by ferry Sunday afternoon and brought in heavy equipment late last night. Cordova is landlocked. There is no road to the town. The only way in or out is by boat and plane. Neither has been reliable this winter.
“We are concerned about heavy and wet snow on roofs,” said Allen Marquette, public information officer with the city of Cordova, in a press release issued by the National Guard. “Some structures have already collapsed. We are trying to get those prioritized and shoveled off and assist residents in anticipation of the new snow and rain that’s coming.”
KTVA’s reporter Heather Hintze and photojournalist John Thain have chronicled Cordova’s story since Saturday afternoon. CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley took notice of Heather and John’s reporting and requested a story. This story is scheduled to run tonight on CBS but you can get a sneak peak of it here.
This is a continuing story. Please check back here often or follow us @KTVA on Twitter, facebook.com/alaskatvktva, and on CBS Channel 11 at 5, 6, and 10 for new details.