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Governor Parnell Declares Winter Sea Storm a Disaster; Disaster Declaration Triggers State Public Assistance


December 31, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – In response to damage from a sea storm, Governor Sean Parnell today issued a State Disaster Declaration for the Kenai Peninsula Borough and the City of Seward, and directed the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to implement Alaska’s Public Assistance program.\

“My job is to ensure that our communities are safe,” said Governor Parnell. “This disaster declaration will restore the coastal barrier protecting the citizens of Seward and the critical infrastructure that they rely on.”

On Dec. 1, a winter sea storm and high tides combined to displace the coastal protective barrier and erode portions of Lowell Point Road, the Alaska SeaLife Center coastal barrier system and the City of Seward’s coastal bike path.

The Public Assistance Program is designed to help state, local and tribal governmental entities, as well as certain private non-profit organizations, to restore infrastructure damaged by a sudden event. 

“Emergency Management will continue to work with the borough and the City of Seward to repair the costal barrier system before new storms cause more damage,” said Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Commissioner Thomas Katkus. “Governor Parnell’s declaration gives us the resources and flexibility to return the City of Seward’s coastal areas to their pre-disaster condition.”

The governor also directed state departments and agencies to work with the City of Seward and the Kenai Peninsula Borough to address long-term solutions to improve the coastal barriers for future storms.

A copy of the disaster declaration is available at:

http://gov.state.ak.us/pdf/SewardDisasterDec_Dec21-2009.pdf

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