Sinking Sand Lake neighborhood asks voters for help
Nearly two months after the Nov. 30 earthquake, some Anchorage residents are still facing struggles.
Some are dealing with property damage, while others are living without a home. Nikki Rose is the president of the Sand Lake Community Council and says neighbors in the Sand Lake area have homes that continue to sink into the ground.
"This earthquake is over for a lot of people but we have to remember there are still aftershocks going on and people are still really hurting," Rose said Wednesday.
She has been working with Ticia Circle, a Sand Lake community that was heavily damaged in the earthquake. She says the community hired a geotechnical engineer to evaluate the area.
"That geotechnical engineer was able to establish that there was drainage issues that really intensified what happened with the earthquake," said Rose, explaining what the engineer described as liquefaction.
Rose and other neighbors took those findings to Tuesday's Anchorage Assembly meeting asking for $500,000 to be added to the $32.7 million Anchorage Road and Drainage Service Area Bond. The $500,000 would go toward reviewing, evaluating and coming up with a plan to fix the drainage and soil problems on Ticia Circle.
The Assembly voted it through, so now the issue will go on the municipal ballot in April.
Even if it's approved, the neighborhood will still need to find funding to implement any proposed fixes for the area.
Rose says the whole area of Sand Lake has been affected. She herself is a resident who's out of her home due to earthquake damage. Rose said an engineer told her it would cost about $100,000 to lift and put piers under her home.
She believes assistance for Ticia Circle will help the entire Sand Lake community.
"Tisha is just the beginning," said Rose. "I'd really like to see this taken to the next step which is to put forward more funding for more homes to be evaluated by the municipality and to look at what other areas we can work on as far as drainage for residents."
Louie Stephens isn't just dealing with the water in the ground and earthquake damage, he had someone break into his Ticia Circle home through the back window and steal food out of his fridge. Others have had food stolen too; one resident reportedly had guns stolen.
"It's really left a bad taste in our mouth," said Stephens. "We're already struggling."
But Sand Lake isn't backing down. Rose says they've doubled their safety patrols and Stephens says neighbors are on the lookout for each other.
"It won't happen again," said Stephens. "We're ready. So we're sticking together watching everybody who comes through. Day and night, it doesn't matter."
Stephens says this community has come together stronger after facing the struggles brought on by the earthquake.
Before they can rebuild, they must first find funding to begin planning for the future of their neighborhood.
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