Mat-Su Borough address earthquake response criticism
Some people who live in the Mat-Su Valley are upset with the Borough's response to the earthquake.
Many took to social media to complain about a lack of information. Mat-Su Borough staff did not hold regular press conferences like agencies in Anchorage.
In a Facebook post, Mat-Su Borough's public information officer Erin Leaders said there was limited damage to borough roads and the impact to schools is still being assessed.
"Relative to the City of Anchorage, the Mat-Su Borough received little damage to infrastructure. Our partner agencies have collaborated with us and will continue to do assessments in order to ensure the recovery process continues to flow smoothly," Leaders said.
At the first media press conference Monday night, Emergency Services Manager Otto Feather said he understood people's concerns and apologized for not being more up front.
"What I failed to recognize is I had the information that things were good and we did not communicate appropriately to the rest of the community," Feather said. "We failed in terms of our ability to make sure we were getting out timely, actionable information so folks could feel comfortable with what was going on."
The Mat-Su Borough made officials available to KTVA throughout the weekend.
On Saturday, Reporter Dave Leval met up with Feather outside Home Depot where he was getting a new water filter to deal with earthquake damage.
Sunday afternoon, Mat-Su Borough Public Works Director Terry Dolan met with a crew at Mile 15 of Point MacKenzie Road to show the damage.
Point MacKenzie Road and Vine Road were the two borough roads hit hardest by the earthquake but both are still open for travel. There's a detour around the destroyed part of Vine Road. Point MacKenzie Road is down to one lane in places where construction crews are working on repairs.
"Our real priority out here right now is to keep residents who live out here with access to food, fuel and water," Dolan said.
There's also damage to Pittman Road, but Dolan said that's a state responsibility.
The borough has a website set up where people can self report their damage.
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