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Governor Issues Disaster Declaration for 2019 December Kenai Peninsula Storms

Feb 5, 2020

Governor Mike Dunleavy issued a disaster declaration in response to a series of severe winter storms that impacted State owned and maintained infrastructure on the Kenai Peninsula. The declaration activates the state’s Public Assistance disaster recovery program which is funded by the State of Alaska Disaster Relief Fund. In addition, the Governor will request a presidential Disaster Declaration in order to activate federal Public Assistance.

Beginning on Nov. 27, and continuing through Dec. 10, the Kenai Peninsula was impacted by a strong weather system that brought high winds, significant snowfall, and heavy rains. Power outages, road damage, harbor damage, and flooding was reported in multiple locations within the Kenai Peninsula. These events impacted the Kenai Peninsula Borough, City of Seldovia, Homer Electric Association, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and Department of Natural Resources.

“The Kenai Peninsula saw numerous disaster events in the last few years. In addition to this disaster, the Peninsula experienced damages to the Lowell Point area in Seward, power outages in Halibut Cove, the 2018 Cook Inlet Earthquake, water shortages, and the Swan Lake Fire.” said Governor Mike Dunleavy. “The Borough, impacted communities, and state agencies performed admirably throughout these events. The state is committed to helping the effected communities recover from this disaster.”

The state’s Public Assistance Program is designed to restore eligible critical infrastructure to a pre-disaster condition, fund debris removal, and reimburse emergency protective measures incurred by eligible applicants. Local governments, state agencies, tribal entities, and certain non-profits may apply for state Public Assistance for damage that was a direct result of the declared disaster event.

If a federal Disaster Declaration is issued the state will enter into a cost sharing agreement with FEMA to fund disaster recovery activities with the state/federal recovery costs split on a 25%/75% basis.