Today the Alaska Congressional Delegation commended the Administration's response in issuing a major disaster declaration for the State of Alaska in areas of the Interior where Alaskans are still recovering from devastating damages caused by heavy spring floodwaters. The declaration comes only weeks after Senators Lisa Murkowski, Mark Begich and Congressman Don Young wrote in a letter to President Obama and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Craig Fugate to request timely approval of Governor Sean Parnell's request for a presidential disaster declaration for the state of Alaska.
"The announcement today is a substantial commitment from the federal government to help the community of Galena, in which 122 homes were destroyed or severely damaged," said Senator Murkowski. "As the region struggles to recover and rebuild in the brief summer period we have before winter arrives, the disaster declaration included Individual Assistance in order to help members of small remote communities like Galena."
"The residents of Galena have suffered enough from the devastating floods of the past month. This disaster declaration will go a long way to mitigating some of the damage to this community," said Senator Begich. " I will be working with the Alaska delegation in the weeks and months ahead to make sure these recovery dollars get to the right people and get the important work of rebuilding started."
"Today's announcement from the Administration is welcome news to the communities throughout rural Alaska that were impacted by severe spring flooding," said Congressman Young. "Through this declaration, those affected can start putting their lives back together again. Moving forward, we must ensure that this aid and assistance reaches these rural communities as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Today's announcement by FEMA ensures hundreds of Alaskans currently displaced can begin clearing damage and rebuilding communities in areas where state and local assistance is not enough -- particularly after several difficult and severe weather events in recent years.
Of particular note, FEMA's declaration aligns with the Alaska Delegation and the State's request for Individual Assistance, Public Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation. Individual Assistance to individuals and households was designated to those in the Alaska Gateway Regional Educational Attendance Area (REAA), Lower Yukon REAA, Yukon Flats REAA, and the Yukon-Koyukuk REAA, while Public Assistance (PA) for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities were granted to the Alaska Gateway Regional Educational Attendance Area (REAA), Copper River REAA, Lower Yukon REAA, Yukon Flats REAA, and the Yukon-Koyukuk REAA. All boroughs and REAAs in the State of Alaska are eligible to apply for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
According to the State of Alaska, flood damage includes the destruction of 15 homes, 107 homes having suffered major damage, and an additional 72 homes having suffered minor damage -- most of which was concentrated in the community of Galena.