• Forecast
  • News Tip
  • Categories
Temperature Precipitation
Estimated read time
2m 10s

More storms keep Western Alaska relief grounded

By KTVA Alaska 11:36 PM November 13, 2013

State relief efforts must wait out Wednesday storm before flying to beleaguered Norton Sound communities

ANCHORAGE – Western Alaska is bracing for another bout of violent winter weather just days after a weekend barrage of storms left many communities without power and water. Despite significant need, relief won’t arrive until the weather clears.

Storms have damaged or destroyed homes, roads and airports in half a dozen communities along the Norton Sound since Saturday. On Wednesday, many were still dealing with flooding, loss of communications and water shortages.

State relief workers are preparing to move in to help, but another storm landing Wednesday night has put relief on hold.

“Recovery is a very difficult thing to start when that barrage is continuing to come through,” said John Madden, the director of the state homeland security and emergency management. “As soon as the weather stabilizes, [we’ll get out there] to see the extent of the damage … we still need to see things fresh, when they’re broken, so that we have full knowledge of the damage.”

Communities like Kotlik and Stebbins near the mouth of the Yukon River were hit the hardest. In Stebbins, more than 200 people sought shelter in the community school to escape the floodwaters. Today,  those with family in the region said they feel Alaskans are being forgotten in the shadow of the Philippine typhoon.

“Yes, there’s a tragedy and casualties happening in the Philippines, but in Alaska, in our own backyard, we have casualties that we can prevent,” said Wendy Shipton, whose family lives in Stebbins, St. Michael and Kotlik.

Shipton said residents are prepared for annual storms, but her family has told her they’ve never seen storms of this magnitude before. She said people in Stebbins are rationing fuel, and need generators, blankets, food and water.

Despite preparations, for her and some, the storm led to chaos.

“People had run out of their homes in a state of panic and waded in the surge water along with the tons of ice coming up with it, and just, you know, where am I going to go?” she said.

State emergency workers said they’re in contact with several communities and offering guidance for navigating problems until help can arrive.

Madden said they’re sending a team to Unalakleet Thursday to spearhead relief efforts. Their first goal will be to assess and begin repairs on water and sewage problems in Kotlik.

All of that, however, has to wait until the latest storm system moves through Norton Sound.

In addition to state relief efforts, the Red Cross of Alaska has been collecting donations for the community of Kotlik. They’re also sending two workers there tomorrow to aid in disaster relief.

Latest Stories

  • News

    Crews work to contain Hiland Fire near Eagle River

    by KTVA 11 News on May 27, 22:18

      Last updated at 11:50 p.m. on Friday, May 27 EAGLE RIVER — A large number of emergency responders spent Friday evening battling a blaze near Hiland Road in Eagle River. At last check, Sarah Saarloos, Alaska Division of Forestry spokesperson said the fire is estimated to be 23 acres and is not anticipated to […]

  • News

    From WWII to Vietnam: Wasilla veteran remembers 28 years of service

    by Lauren Maxwell on May 27, 21:36

    There may not be many people who can claim they fought in World War II, became a German prisoner of war then stayed in the military to complete two tours of duty in Vietnam, but Wasilla resident Walter Ferguson is one of them. Walt and his wife Lila are both 91 years old. They met […]

  • Lifestyle

    Anchorage store goes above and beyond to support deaf employees

    by Shannon Ballard on May 27, 20:30

    Inside the South Anchorage Petco there are plenty of sounds to grab your attention, but 22-year-old Joseph Martin works in silence. “I can’t hear and it’s hard they don’t understand. I can’t talk,” Joseph Martin said using sign language. When KTVA spoke to Joseph Martin on Friday, his mom Jane did her best to interpret. […]

  • Crime

    Anchorage man charged with attempted murder for shooting at trooper

    by KTVA 11 News on May 27, 18:01

    A 25-year-old Anchorage man has been charged with attempted murder of an Alaska State Trooper, as well as several other charges, after an early-May saga of alleged criminal activity. According to the Alaska Department of Law, on May 1 a Ship Creek business owner notified police of two men breaking into his business. When the […]

  • News

    Vintage plane crashes in Hudson River during Fleet Week

    by CBS News on May 27, 17:30

    NEW YORK – A small plane crashed in the Hudson River between New York and New Jersey Friday evening, CBS New York station WCBS reported. The Federal Aviation Administration said it received a report a World War II vintage P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft went down in the river two miles south of the George Washington Bridge around 7:30 […]

  • Lifestyle

    The Hungry Chum: Pipers serves classic Alaska with a great view

    by The Hungry Chum on May 27, 15:44

    With its distinctive totem poles and old Alaska charm, one eatery and watering hole tells the tales of Alaska’s past. Despite its location on Lake Hood, a popular stopping point for tourists eager to watch float planes take off and land, Pipers Restaurant and Sports Lounge isn’t a tourist attraction. A place without tourists is […]

  • DayBreak

    Mic Check in the Morning: Connor Larson

    by Daybreak Staff on May 27, 13:56

    He’s just out of high school and ready for the big stage. Soldotna High School graduate Connor Larson’s passion for singing and songwriting started his sophomore year after his grandfather gifted him a guitar. Since then he’s been playing at coffee shops and festivals around Alaska. Now that he is graduated from high school, he plans […]

  • Politics

    Walker breaks up tax proposals after legislative pushback

    by Becky Bohrer / AP on May 27, 13:25

    Gov. Bill Walker is breaking his tax proposals apart again after legislators pushed back on his decision to bundle them together for the special session. Walker on Friday introduced four separate bills in the House, relating to tax increases on motor fuels and the fishing and mining industries and reinstituting a personal income tax. During […]