LIST: Closures, cancellations, resources following major Anchorage quake
Here’s a look at where southcentral Alaska services stand after the Nov. 30 earthquake:
HIGHWAYS & ROADS
The Anchorage Police Department said that Briggs Bridge at Eagle River Loop is now reopened to traffic as of Friday, Dec. 7. Earthquake repairs have been completed.
On Thursday, Dec. 6, Anchorage police sent a traffic alert that the outbound lanes of the Glenn Highway at Hiland are open.
Later that day, the department stated the westbound lanes of Dowling Road between Lake Otis Parkway and Elmore Road have been repaved and reopened following earthquake damage.
On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Mat-Su Borough announced that Vine Road reopened to traffic. An earlier release from DOT&PF called the damage done in the quake "remarkable."
Officials said the repairs are a temporary fix and the road will be replaced next summer.
Mat-Su Borough road crews continue to perform repairs on borough roads. As of Friday, Dec. 7:
Point MacKenzie Road is now open to two way traffic at mile 15.5 and repairs were set to be completed Wednesday, Dec. 5, according to a post on the Mat-Su Borough's website.
That afternoon, the state DOT&PF released a report of damage locations:
On Wednesday, Dec. 5, teachers at some schools were able to return to their classrooms. That same day, ASD announced Gruening Middle School would be closed for the rest of the academic year.
All but six Mat-Su schools were closed Monday, Dec. 3, and Tuesday, Dec. 4. MSBSD has also listed a spreadsheet with updates on its schools' openings on the district's website.
A revised damage assessment from the borough indicates that Houston Middle School will likely be closed for the remainder of the school year due to quake damage.
The University of Alaska Anchorage campus reopened Wednesday, Dec. 5, following an announcement from UAA chancellor Cathy Sandeen posted to the university's Twitter account on Tuesday, Dec. 4. The Chugiak-Eagle River campus will remain closed, but classes will resume in alternative locations, according to UAA's website.
WATER & GAS
Officials in Anchorage say water in the city is fine to drink and a previous boil advisory has been lifted; however, officials in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough say some residents are getting "murky water" due to silt that had been stirred up by the quake.
The borough posted a notice on its website Wednesday, Dec. 5, stating that residents of the Mat-Su Borough with wells that are still experiencing dirty water should take necessary precautions advised by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation?. Over the weekend, borough officials recommended residents boil water before consuming it and buy filters from home-improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowe's.
On Wednesday, Dec. 5, an Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility release stated that its staff was able to quickly stabilize damages caused by what is being called the Point MacKenzie Earthquake. The utility wrote that it restored functionality to its water and sewer systems by Dec. 1. AWWU is continuing to make repairs on the system and said workers are finding new earthquake-related damage daily.
"We are responding to those issues and prioritizing them for repairs as quickly as possible. We will continue working diligently to make immediate repairs and maintain operability of the systems through the winter," the release stated. "However, some repairs will require implementation of permanent fixes and/or surface restoration (such as final grading and landscaping) that cannot be addressed until the spring of 2019."
In a news conference Sunday, Dec. 2, Anchorage officials said ENSTAR had 293 open work orders and staff from Michigan came to help get those customers back online with service. The gas company also activated its emergency plan. People should call 907-334-7763 or 907-334-7770 to report any gas leaks.
On Monday, Dec. 3, DOT released this statement advising people not to collect water from Seward pipe:
"Earthquake damage on Southbound SEWARD HIGHWAY from MP 114 to MP 104 Travel is not advised, use caution when traveling through this area, do not stop. Comments: Rock fall is an ongoing issue due to continued after shocks. Please do not gather water at MP 109, very active area."
Shelter & Home Damage
The Red Cross emergency shelter at the Fairview Recreation Center in Anchorage closed at 8 pm Wednesday, Dec. 5. An emailed update from the Red Cross stated the organization is working find help for individuals in need of longer-term shelter. Those still in need of emergency shelter as a result of the earthquake can call the Red Cross at 907-646-5401.
In the coming days, the Red Cross of Alaska said it will begin distributing emergency relief supplies to those affected by the earthquake, according to a release on Wednesday, Dec. 5. Emergency clean-up kits will include: cases of water, masks, plastic storage totes, tarps, duct tape, gloves, brooms, 5-gallon water jugs, and more. As needed, additional distribution sites and/or routes will be announced in the coming days.
According to a Monday, Dec. 10, press release, the Red Cross of Alaska has provided 230 overnight stays in Red Cross shelters in Anchorage, Chugiak and Wasilla and served more than 2,237 meals and snacks across the region since the earthquake.
"More than 250 disaster health and mental health contacts have been made to provide care and support to affected residents since Fri., Nov. 30," the release said. "To date, the Red Cross of Alaska has mobilized 112 disaster workers to support residents in Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley and other affected areas since the earthquake. "
Volunteers looking to help can call the American Red Cross at 907-646-5401.
The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management activated the State’s Individual Assistance Hotline on Dec. 4, 2018 at 8 a.m. All individuals and families within the Municipality of Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, or Kenai Peninsula Borough with damaged homes, damaged essential personal property and transportation losses from the earthquake on Friday, Nov. 30 to report those damages to the State of Alaska by calling 1-855-445-7131 or by visiting ready.alaska.gov.
Mat-Su Residents can self-report earthquake damage to home and business infrastructure, which will start the process of individual homes and business assistance.
U-Haul Company of Alaska is offering 30 days of free self-storage and U-Box container usage to residents affected by the Anchorage earthquake.
“People have had ceilings fall in, furniture fall over and the safety of their homes compromised,” explained John Norris, U-Haul Company of Alaska president. “This event has created a need for a secure place where people can stow their belongings while they prepare aftershocks and the rebuilding process. We want our neighbors to know that we’re here to help. Our disaster relief program is one way we can give back to the community.”
People wanting more information or needing to arrange for 30 days free self-storage should contact the nearest participating U-Haul facility:
U-Haul Moving & Storage of Anchorage
4751 Old Seward Hwy.
Anchorage, AK 99503
U-Haul Moving & Storage of North Anchorage
5700 Boundary Ave.
Anchorage, AK 99504
U-Haul Moving & Storage of Palmer
650 S. Cobb St.
Palmer, AK 99645
Mental health resources are available on the municipality's website. Now is the time to focus on self-care for you and your family members. Aetna is offering free mental health service to those who call 1-833-327-2386.
Resources are also available for parents who need help talking to their kids about earthquake trauma.
Those looking for child care are encouraged to call providers at thread to find out if they are open. The organization can be reached at 907-265-3100.
Multiple businesses and nonprofits are offering free and low-cost activities for kids in Anchorage who are out of school until Monday, Dec. 10.
The Municipality of Anchorage is offering free access to the central transfer station and the landfill, through Saturday, Dec. 8. A release from city officials stated the two facilities are open and there is no load limit. However, only residential vehicles are allowed. Recycling centers are open.
The city is asking people in Anchorage to use the transfer station to avoid traffic, delays and repair crews on the Glenn Highway. People in Eagle River, Chugiak and Eklunta are advised to use the landfill and to not use the Glenn Highway to access it.
The municipality expects heavy volumes of trash and asks that people only dispose of essential refuse at this time.
The Mat-Su Borough Assembly voted down a resolution to waive fees at the Central Landfill for residents following Friday's 7.0 earthquake.
BUSES & PARKING
Parking at Anchorage Community Development Authority garages opened Monday, Dec. 3. Parking in the garages and lots operated by Easy Park is free through Friday, Dec. 7. All parking facilities, including the Transit Center, have been deemed safe. On-street parking enforcement began Tuesday at 9 a.m.
People Mover buses resumed regular service after it was suspended Friday, Dec. 1, and operated with free rides that weekend. Just one route, Route 20, has been modified due to a road closure between Post Road and Concrete Street.
"On the Outbound route from 4th Avenue, the bus now turns right on Gambell Street, left on 6th Avenue and left on Concrete Street before turning right back onto 3rd Avenue," a spokeswoman wrote in an email. "On the Inbound route from 3rd Avenue, the bus now turns left on Concrete, right on 5th Avenue and right on Ingra Street before turning left back onto 3rd Avenue."
STATE, MUNICIPAL & BOROUGHS
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Anchorage field office has extended its closure through Monday, Dec. 10.
"All scheduled interviews will be automatically rescheduled, with no need for any action on the part of the applicants," officials said in a press release. "Those who made appointments to talk to an officer in the Information Room should visit the USCIS website, uscis.gov, to reschedule."
A decision on when the office will reopen will be made by Monday evening, according to USCIS officials.
According to a Tuesday, Dec. 4, update, The Big Lake Library and Palmer pool will be closed until further notice. All other MSB offices are open as usual.
State offices in Anchorage, Eagle River, Palmer and Wasilla were suitable to be reoccupied were slated to open Wednesday, Dec. 5.
The Anchorage Court System said in an email Monday that many jury trials and civil proceedings in Anchorage have been canceled. Call the Anchorage court at 264-0514 for information on specific cases. The Palmer court is open for regular business operations.
For Monday, Dec. 3, all Municipality of Anchorage departments were closed to the public, except for:
Anchorage Police Department
Anchorage Fire Department
Anchorage Transit Department/People Mover
DHHS WIC Offices (excluding WIC JBER) & Public Health Clinic
The Port of Alaska
Municipal Light & Power (ML&P)
Anchorage Water & Waste Water Utility (AWWU)
Solid Waste Services (SWS)
Assembly Conference Room #155, City Hall (for noticed work sessions)
Port MacKenzie remains operational. Facilities were inspected by engineers Sunday, Dec. 2. They found the following damage:
Terminal Building – minor damage consisting of some drywall cracking, and cracked tile grout.
Deep Draft Dock – no earthquake related damage.
Barge Dock – minor subsidence along the north side of the dock, recommend grading in the spring, one high mast light is leaning slightly, contractors are preparing repair plans. No structural damage above the water line. Divers are scheduled to perform a subsurface inspection.
Don Young Lane has approximately 75 feet of foreslope sloughing with loose guardrail.
Don Young Road has a subsidence depression that will require fill.
The Alaska Railroad has restarted its freight and passenger service from Anchorage to Fairbanks, as crews continue repair work across the region.
In a press conference early Sunday morning, Dec. 2, Mayor Berkowitz said Anchorage's supply lines were, at this point, "uninterrupted" after being asked about the status of local grocery stores.
Several Carrs Safeway locations and their associated gas stations in Anchorage suffered structural damage during the quake. By Saturday afternoon, Dec. 1, only the chain's Gambell Street and Eagle River locations remained closed. The Fred Meyer department store in Eagle River was closed Friday due to the quake, according to a spokesperson, but stores in Anchorage, Wasilla and the Kenai Peninsula remained open.
As of Wednesday evening, Dec. 5, Matanuska Electric Association reported there were no longer any outages in its service area.
All Municipal Light & Power service was restored by 2:45 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8.
In rural Alaska, the Alaska Village Electric Cooperative said it would not disconnect any accounts for delinquency after complaints of difficulty getting through to agents to make payments. The agency closed their offices Friday, Dec. 7, and planned to reopen with regular hours on Monday, Dec. 10.
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport is fully operational.
Merrill Field control tower is fully functional and operational. If you have any questions, call 271-2698 or 271-3047 for further tower clarification.
Alaska Native Medical Center and Providence Alaska Medical Center were assessing damage at their buildings, but both hospitals’ emergency departments remain open for service.
Alaska Regional Hospital is back to normal operations. People with doctor's appointments this week are advised to call their physician's office directly to confirm their appointments.
As of Monday, Dec. 3, mail services in the Anchorage area have resumed with all retail and delivery operations back to normal. U.S. Postal Service officials said there may be some visible cosmetic damage on the facilities resulting from the earthquake, but engineers have certified all of the buildings as safe for employees and customers.
The Municipality of Anchorage shut down its emergency operations center Monday, though the city remained under an emergency declaration until Tuesday, Dec. 4. Further updates of road closures and advisories will be sent via Nixle.
Here's a list of numbers to call if you are in need:
911 for emergencies
311 for non-emergencies
811 for utility needs
511 for road needs
211 if you need support or referrals to services in your area
Phone and internet services are working. Service providers had earlier urged people to send text messages or use social media rather than call due to extremely high volumes of phone calls.
AT&T waived phone charges in the Anchorage area through Tuesday, Dec. 4, and donated $50,000 to the Red Cross during its response to the quake.
GCI also waived additional usage fees associated with voice calls, texts and data for wireless and home phone customers who live in the affected areas of Anchorage, Eagle River and the Matanuska-Susitna area. GCI also made a $5,000 donation to The American Red Cross of Alaska, in addition to support already pledged this year.
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COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF THE EARTHQUAKE: