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Governor Dunleavy Declares 2020 December Southeast Storms a Disaster

Dec 5, 2020

December 5, 2020 (Juneau, Alaska) –Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has signed the Disaster Declaration for the storm that caused damage in multiple communities in Southeast Alaska. The Disaster Declaration activates the State of Alaska Public Assistance program which is designed to help communities, government organizations, and certain non-profits make repairs to utilities, public buildings, roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure damaged by the declared event. In addition, the Public Assistance Disaster Declaration will reimburse communities and agencies for eligible response costs associated with the disaster event.

The Disaster Declaration covers the entire Southeast Region stretching from Haines to Ketchikan.

Between Nov. 30 and Dec. 2, the storm impacted Southeast Alaska with heavy rains and high winds. This storm caused multiple landslides, flooded homes and infrastructures, washed out roads, interrupted power, and knocked down trees. More than 12 Southeast Alaska communities have reported damages, with some indicating the need for disaster recovery assistance.

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) is responding to emergency requests from Haines for increased search and rescue (SAR) capabilities, sheltering support, geological technical experts, and other requests.

“Haines and many other communities in Southeast are experiencing profound impacts due to this powerful storm. We are doing everything we can do to ensure that the communities have the resources they need to respond to this event,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “This is an ongoing response and we are focused on the immediate life, health, and safety needs of those impacted by the event. As we meet those critical needs, this Public Assistance Disaster Declaration will allow for a swift transition to repairing critical infrastructure.”

The SEOC, already activated for the COVID-19 response, is coordinating local, state, federal, non-government, and private sector organizations in order to respond to the storm.

The Disaster Declaration also initiated a request for federal Public Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

A signed copy of the Disaster Declaration can be found here.