Disaster Declaration Aids Alaska Communities

"This storm damaged dozens of homes and infrastructure in these communities, requiring significant repair in the near future," said Gov. Bill Walker. "I thank the dedicated staff at the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for helping these communities during a time of crisis."

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has issued a disaster declaration following storms that damaged about 60 structures in Savoonga and Gambell on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. His declaration activates the state's public and individual assistance programs to help communities repair utilities, public buildings, roads, bridges, residential structures, and other critical infrastructure damaged by the storms. The state announced the declaration Feb. 7.

They hit during the week of Dec. 26, 2016, with hurricane-force winds and storm surge affecting at least 30 homes in the city of Savoonga and damaging a water tank in city of Gamble on St. Lawrence Island.

"This storm damaged dozens of homes and infrastructure in these communities, requiring significant repair in the near future," said Walker. "I thank the dedicated staff at the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for helping these communities during a time of crisis. The state is committed to helping with repair efforts so residents of Savoonga and Gambell can get back to their everyday lives."

The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management sent two emergency managers to Savoonga to conduct an initial damage assessment with the communities and the American Red Cross of Alaska.

The state's public assistance program helps state, local and tribal governmental entities, and certain private non-profit organizations restore damaged infrastructure to pre-disaster conditions. Funding is made available for emergency protective measures, temporary and permanent repairs to infrastructure, and technical and funding assistance needed to repair or replace damaged facilities. The individual assistance program provided financial assistance to individuals or families for damages to primary residence, primary mode of transportation, essential personal property, and medical needs created as a direct result of a declared disaster and for which other assistance is either unavailable or inadequate.

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