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Murkowski: In Galena, “There Is a Lot More Work to Do”

Senator Murkowski tours progress on a home being rebuilt in Galena.

Senator Murkowski tours progress on a home being rebuilt in Galena.

PHOTO: Courtesy of the Office of US Senator Lisa Murkowski

Senator Travels to Disaster-Struck Village, Brings FEMA and Residents Face to Face

ANCHORAGE, ALASKA – With the end of summer drawing near and winter looming, Senator Lisa Murkowski toured the village of Galena on Saturday with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and State of Alaska Emergency Management officials and surveyed the progress being made in helping Galena as it recovers. Following conversations with government officials, contractors and local governments it became evident that all were not on the same page when it came to deadlines for completing work; Senator Murkowski seized the opportunity bringing key players together and mediated the differences.

After a lengthy period negotiating more realistic timelines between FEMA and on-site contractors repairing the damaged structures that had not been vetted previously, the Senator attended and participated in a meeting of the Galena Recovery Advisory Council where frustrations were aired and solutions discussed.

Click here for video of the deadline discussion between Senator Murkowski, the contractor, state and federal representatives.

During her visit to the Galena Clinic, Senator Murkowski spoke with one of the lead contractors working on getting it up and running.  He told her he believed the deadline of September 15th was an unrealistic one, motivating Murkowski to have him, FEMA and Alaskan officials have an open and honest conversation about priorities and timelines.

“We need to make sure we are communicating about timelines,” Sen. Murkowski told them.

“There is so much to be done, and we all know winter is coming.  Winter comes early and hits hard in the Interior.  We need to have systems in place in time for winter, and from what I am seeing, that may not happen,” said Sen. Murkowski.  “I am leaving with a real sense of obligation to push federal, state and local partners to work together as quickly as possible.  There is a lot more work to do.”

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