Walker declares September Utqiagvik storm a state disaster
A September storm that caused extensive damage in Utqiagvik is now considered a state disaster, according to Gov. Bill Walker.
Walker’s office said the governor issued a declaration for the North Slope Borough covering the storm, which passed through the state’s northernmost community from Sept. 28-30. Local authorities had already acted, according to a statement, but “it became clear that the resulting damage would exceed that local capability.”
“This storm caused major damage to roads, infrastructure, historical, and cultural sites along the Northern Arctic Coast, and also resulted in low-lying area flooding in the community of Utqiagvik,” Walker said in the statement. “This declaration will make funds available to assist the North Slope Borough communities with recovery efforts, and support our neighbors as they work to rebuild their lives.”
Walker also indicated he planned to seek federal disaster relief for the storm, which would reimburse three-quarters of any eligible relief and recovery expenses. The state’s Disaster Relief Fund would cover the remainder.