I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, make the following findings:
1. During the period October 5 through October 7, 2001, winds and high tides combined to erode up to 50 feet of coastline from the City of Shishmaref, located on Sarichef Island. Some sections of the bluff area have been undercut as much as 16 to 20 feet due to the surf melting the underlying permafrost.
2. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Division of Emergency Services, and the Department of Environmental Conservation performed a threat assessment and resolution determination. This assessment found that until tidewater freezes in early December, the City of Shishmaref is under increased threat from destructive sea-surge storms that can accelerate erosion of Sarichef Island’s sandy soils and permafrost. The City of Shishmaref is open to the full brunt of storms via northwest winds and surf. The highest risk areas include several homes, utility pole infrastructure, and the community tank farm. The assessment team determined that some of these structures and facilities likely will be destroyed in the next major storm if no action is taken.
3. Based on information from the threat assessment and resolution determination by the Division of Emergency Services and the Department of Environmental Conservation, I have determined that this incident poses an imminent and continuing threat of sufficient magnitude and severity to justify state action.
4. I find it appropriate that money from the disaster relief fund (AS 26.23.300(a)) be expended to cover the costs incurred by the Division of Emergency Services and other state agencies in response to this incident, not to exceed $110,000.
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 1, of the Alaska Constitution and AS 26.23.300(b), I, Tony Knowles, Governor of the State of Alaska, hereby order that:
Consistent with AS 26.23.010-26.23.220 (Alaska Disaster Act) and AS 26.23.300(b), expenditures be made from the disaster relief fund (AS 26.23.300(a)) to cover costs incurred by the Division of Emergency Services and other state agencies after October 7, 2001, as a direct result of involvement in emergency measures to respond to the Shishmaref incident and to protect the City of Shishmaref from the threat of further damage.
This Order takes effect immediately.
Dated at Anchorage, Alaska this 25 day of October, 2001.
By: S/S Tony Knowles