I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, make the following findings:
1. Beginning on August 16, 2009, the City of Pelican, Alaska, experienced an extreme rainfall event, with approximately ten inches of rain over a 48-hour period. This event caused severe flooding that overwhelmed and weakened the primary water supply flume for the Pelican hydroelectric and drinking water supply systems. Excessive debris entered the dam’s water intake and clogged and broke sections of the water distribution pipeline. On August 20, 2009, approximately 30 feet of the damaged flume collapsed, disrupting the water supply to the community.
2. The City of Pelican, through a local declaration dated August 26, 2009, requested State assistance for eligible emergency protective measures, temporary repairs, and technical expertise to restore the community’s water supply system.
3. Since the flume collapse, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the Department of Environmental Conservation have actively monitored the emergency situation in the City of Pelican, including the potential threat of an anhydrous ammonia release caused by the disruption of water to cool condensers in the Pelican Seafood facility. Interim repairs to date have restored temporary water supply to the facility, and future repairs covered under this Order should effectively mitigate this threat.
4. Based on the findings of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and the Department of Environmental Conservation, as supported by the recommendations from the Disaster Policy Cabinet meeting of September 18, 2009, I have determined that this incident poses a direct and imminent threat of sufficient magnitude and severity to justify state action.
5. I find it appropriate that financial assistance from the disaster relief fund be expended in accordance with AS 26.23.020(h) to cover the eligible emergency response costs and emergency protective measures for the water supply system for the City of Pelican.
Under the authority of art. III, sec. 1 of the Alaska Constitution and AS 26.23.020(h) and 26.23.050, I, Sean Parnell, Governor of the State of Alaska, hereby order that:
Consistent with AS 26.23.010 – 26.23.220 (Alaska Disaster Act) and AS 26.23.020(h), expenditures be made from the disaster relief fund to cover eligible emergency response and emergency protective measures costs for the City of Pelican. The amounts of these expenditures are not to exceed $100,000, including administrative fees.
I further direct the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development to continue to work with the City of Pelican, the Pelican Utility District, and the Kake Tribal Corporation, to develop long-term solutions to address the threat of a catastrophic anhydrous ammonia release.
This Order takes effect immediately.
DATED at Anchorage, Alaska this 30th day of September, 2009.