Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy returned yesterday from a follow-up trip to communities heavily impacted by the Western Alaska storm, the remnants of Typhoon Merbok.
Governor Dunleavy and his team, including Alaska Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ryan Anderson, Alaska Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) Maj. Gen. Torrence Saxe, and Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (DHS&EM) Director Bryan Fisher, visited Unalakleet, Kotzebue, Nome, Golovin, Elim, Koyuk, Shaktulik, and Stebbins.
“I am happy to say that we are seeing great progress in these communities, and people are getting their Disaster Assistance applications finished and submitted,” said Governor Dunleavy. “It’s no surprise that the people in these rural villages are incredibly resilient. Thank you to local leaders for helping the process move quickly. We are seeing houses repaired, lifted on risers, and moved out of harm’s way. We saw roads repaired and cleared from debris and seawalls rebuilt. Thank you to FEMA and contractors for working night and day to keep these communities moving.”
“This has been the largest off-road Alaska National Guard response in several decades,” said Maj. Gen. Saxe. “While we are winding down our guard support in the region, we are actively preparing for the next storm that is expected to hit Norton Sound and Bering Strait.”
“There has been an amazing amount of progress on cleanup and stabilization,” said Director Fisher. “The residents of the region are incredibly resilient, and their pride in the community was seen everywhere. However, much work remains in the next few weeks and months, worth the longer-term recovery likely lasting years.”
Governor Dunleavy is pleased that Alaska Fish & Game granted extended hunting opportunities requested by regions impacted by the recent storms:
1. Unit 22B- Golovin- request for 3 bulls granted and fall season extended. This portion of Unit 22 also has a scheduled winter season in regulation that will begin on January 1.
2. Unlakleet- request to extend the fall season granted. This portion of Unit 22A also has a winter “may be announced” season in regulation.
3. Goodnews Bay- request to extend season granted. This portion of Unit 18 also has a winter “may be announced” season in regulation.
The State has taken almost 450 applications under the Individual Assistance program and the FEMA Individual Assistance program already distributed $790,000 in aid to impacted individuals. Our state agencies are urging people to apply for both state and federal programs at the same time. In addition, there have been 161 homes inspected, with 123 identified with major damage, and 15 destroyed. It’s the State’s priority to get these homes safe for winter and ensure everyone has a place to stay.
To view photos from the trip, click here.