Governor Sean Parnell declared a state disaster for the Kenai Peninsula following a recommendation today from the Disaster Policy Cabinet. Severe flooding damaged public facilities, roads, bridges, an airport, and other structures. The declaration activates the State Public Assistance and Individual Assistance Programs to repair eligible critical infrastructure and individual residential damages caused by the event.
"Having been in Kenai when much of this disaster was unfolding, I personally witnessed the extensive damage taking place," Governor Parnell said. "Many residents have self-recovered from the flooding, but others still have serious problems left to deal with. These state recovery programs will speed up recovery efforts and help fill the void for the community."
The Public Assistance Program is designed to help state, local and tribal governmental entities, as well as certain private non-profit organizations, restore infrastructure damaged by a specific event to pre-disaster conditions. The state's Individual Assistance Program provides recovery assistance for damages to real property, personal property, as well as transportation and medical damages that are a direct result of the disaster event.
On October 29, The Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management received a local disaster declaration and request from the Kenai Peninsula Borough (KPB) and the City of Seward seeking state disaster assistance for emergency protective measures, temporary and permanent repairs to infrastructure, and technical and funding assistance needed to repair or replace damaged facilities.
"The state emergency operations center and the KPB emergency managers addressed all of the immediate needs, and now the long-term recovery process must take place," Governor Parnell added.
With a state declaration, recovery programs to repair infrastructure, as well as recovery strategies for individual homes damaged in the flood, will be enacted as appropriate. State hydrologists from the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Conservation have been addressing water table concerns, as well as future use of wells and septic systems in impacted areas.
The state and borough emergency managers will work with residents to identify eligible applicants for the Individual Assistance Program.