By Neil Torquiano
Channel 2 News
8:11 AM AKST, December 6, 2011
Governor Sean Parnell has declared November’s West Coast Storm a state disaster on Monday.
The estimated damage costs is $29,921,132, but the state says the majority of it should be eligible for federal highway funding, reducing the costs to $8,494,000.
“Communities took the proper protective measures and reduced the damage from this potentially devastating storm,” said Governor Parnell.
The storm affected more than 35 communities and two boroughs, damaging roads, airports, helipads, sea walls, utilities, and electrical distribution systems.
A joint assessment team of state and FEMA officials visited 15 communities in the storm’s aftermath and reported a wide range of minor and significant damages from high winds and coastal flooding.
On November 7, the National Weather Service issued a coastal flood warning for the western coastline of Alaska, forecasting hurricane force winds and strong sea surges would hit communities from Hooper Bay to the North Slope.
“As we focus on the more severely impacted communities and help them rebuild, we will not lose sight of the communities with minor damages. The collective weight of minor damages can have a lasting impact on a community,” said Governor Parnell.
The declaration authorizes the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management to activate the state’s Public and Individual Disaster Assistance programs.
The state’s individual assistance program is designed to provide timely assistance to individuals and families to meet eligible disaster-related necessary expenses, and serious unmet needs.
Governor Parnell also said he will seek a federal disaster declaration for public assistance.
In 2010, Governor Parnell introduced successful legislation tripling the maximum possible state Individual Assistance award. For 2011, that maximum amount is $15,700.
Contact Neil Torquiano at email@example.com
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