Governor Walker Issues Disaster Declaration for North Slope Borough
Late-September storm produced perilous conditions, flooding, damage in Utqiagvik
November 15, 2017 ANCHORAGE — Governor Bill Walker late yesterday issued a declaration of disaster for the North Slope Borough following a strong Arctic sea storm in September. The declaration makes available $1 million from the state’s Disaster Relief Fund, and will allow the community to begin addressing the full scope of damage from the Sept. 28-30 storm. While the Borough took emergency measures immediately following the storm, it became clear that the resulting damage would exceed that local capability.
“This storm caused major damage to roads, infrastructure, historical, and cultural sites along the Northern Arctic Coast, and also resulted in low-lying area flooding in the community of Utqiagvik,” Governor Walker said. “This declaration will make funds available to assist the North Slope Borough communities with recovery efforts, and support our neighbors as they work to rebuild their lives. I also intend to pursue federal disaster assistance to make sure that the Borough has the resources it needs to effectively recover from the storm.”
In addition to causing significant structural and infrastructure damage, the storm produced high winds, strong surf, and a surge that breached coastal protection berms. If federal assistance is granted, the United States federal government would reimburse 75 percent of eligible recovery and relief costs, with the remainder funded through the state’s Disaster Relief Fund.