Gov. Parnell Visits Western Alaska in Wake of Flood Damage

POSTED: 05:48 PM AKST Nov 16, 2013 
Gov. Parnell Visits Western Alaska in Wake of Flood Damage

A disaster declaration is in motion after Governor Sean Parnell made a visit to Western Alaska in the wake of a storm that caused severe flood damage.

On Saturday, Parnell surveyed the damage in Unalakleet and Kotlik. He traveled to the devastated areas with Maj. Gen. Thomas Katkus, the head of the Alaska National Guard, and both listened to concerns during a town hall meeting in Kotlik.

Parnell declared a disaster for the entire region as hundreds attended the meeting.

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management say five villages issued local disaster declarations. The villages affected are Kotlik, Stebbins, Scammon Bay, Tununak and Shishmaref.

State emergency responders along with other groups, including the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and Red Cross, have been active in the region since the storm hit during the weekend of Nov. 9 – 10.

According to the governor, communities affected by the damage are concerned over water and its waste-water situation. Unalakleet lost its water line, but managed to repair it along with restoring part of its seawall. The damage in Kotlik will take a lot more recovery, according to the governor’s office.

“This is going to be an extended recovery because winter's coming and they need to make repairs as quickly as possible, but much will have to be completed in the spring as well,” Parnell said.

Editor’s Note: KTUU’s Neil Torquiano contributed to this story.