Declaration means communities eligible for Disaster Relief Fund assistance
ANCHORAGE – A week after major winter storms devastated communities along Alaska’s west coast, Governor Sean Parnell met with residents Saturday and declared a state disaster for the affected regions.
Kotlik, Unalakleet and Stebbins were among the towns hit hardest by last week’s storms. The wind and waves broke utility lines, destroyed food and water supplies and left homes swamped by icy water and sewage. The American Red Cross sent workers to Kotlik to assist displaced residents, and concerned family members held rallies on Anchorage street corners begging for aid.
The disaster extends to communities in the Northwest Arctic Borough and the Bering Straits and Lower Yukon Regional Education Attendance Areas.
The governor’s declaration means communities in those areas could recieve recovery funding through the Disaster Relief Fund. A statement released by Parnell’s office said the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management would work with community leaders to assess damage and identify grant applicants.
Several state departments are working with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, the Association of Village Council Presidents, Samaritan’s Purse, Faith Christian Community Church and the Red Cross to assist residents and help repair damage.