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ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Governor Bill Walker issued a Disaster Declaration on October 14 for the August North Slope Borough storm that damaged roads and necessitated substantial emergency protective measures. The Disaster Declaration activates the State of Alaska Public Assistance program which is designed to help communities make repairs to utilities, public buildings, roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure damaged by the declared event.
Beginning the week of August 27, strong Arctic coastal sea storms along the Northern Arctic Coast produced high waves. The storm surge deposited beach gravel atop seven miles of borough roads, and caused a loss of material along road surfaces and embankments. The most severely affected roads are located within the community of Barrow; some minor damage was reported in Wainwright.
Governor Walker traveled to Barrow on September 9 to observe damage caused by the storm, and on September 11 the North Slope Borough (NSB) issued a Declaration of Emergency requesting state assistance. Members of Governor Walker’s cabinet met October 6 to discuss the request for state assistance and recommended a disaster declaration be issued.
“The severity and magnitude of this emergency are far beyond the response capabilities of local officials, so I have instructed the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to provide the resources necessary to assist with recovery efforts,” said Governor Walker. “I thank the North Slope Borough for bringing this issue to my attention, and for working collaboratively with the state to bring safety to the region.”
The North Slope Borough has estimated repair and emergency protective measures to cost up to $6.8 million. The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management will work with the borough to develop a comprehensive damage assessment and begin the recovery process.
The disaster declaration also initiated a request for federal Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. If a federal declaration is issued, the state and federal government share recovery costs on a 25%/75% basis.