Extensive earthquake damage found in Muni and Mat-Su following preliminary damage reports

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Structural damage continues to pile up both in the Municipality of Anchorage and the Mat-Su Borough, according to preliminary damage reports from both respective governments.

Mat-Su Borough Emergency Manager Casey Cook reports extensive damage across the Borough.

The numbers are based on self-reports — residents calling in to the Borough to report damage:

—367 reports of residential property damage: 74 with major damage, 181 minor, 218 reported being affected in some way, and one residence was destroyed, meaning it will need permanent repairs.

—23 reports of private business property damage: 4 with major damage, 11 minor, and 7 reporting being affected in some way.

—87 reports of damage to Borough roads, infrastructure and school properties: Cook says the damage ranged from somewhat affected to totally destroyed, including Vine Rd.

Cook says the Borough is no longer collecting self-reports, and advises residents to apply for State Individual Disaster Assistance.

Cook has been the Mat-Su Borough’s emergency manager since 2011, and he says this is the first major earthquake during his tenure.

“We’ll continue to move forward and learn, and be able to assist our residents as we can,” Cook said.

As for damage in the Bowl, the Municipality released a preliminary assessment of damages Tuesday ranging from Turnagain Arm to Chugiak / Eagle River, and everything in between.

Using the map as a resource, you will find damaged areas indicated by either a red, yellow, or green dot.

Red dots represent properties so severely damaged they are determined to be unsafe for entry. Yellow dots represent properties that have been inspected and found to be damaged, and are labeled for restricted use only. Yellow-tagged properties come with a caution that aftershocks since the inspection may increase damage and risk. Green properties have been inspected and determined to be lawfully safe to occupy.

Here’s the breakdown in numbers as of Tuesday:

Red: 55
Yellow: 128
Green: 137

Chugiak - Eagle River Area
Red: 37
Yellow: 45
Green: 18

Turnagain Arm
Red: 4
Yellow: 9
Green: 2

So far, there have been no confirmed deaths linked directly to the earthquake. Structural engineer and President of PDC Engineers Matt Emerson attributes this in part to sound design and civil engineering in Alaska.

“Even though we did sustain damage to quite a few buildings, it’s a real testament to the engineering community, the contractors, the inspectors throughout the state,” Emerson said.

He says this certificate of excellence is part of a long-standing legacy in Alaska.

“It goes back a ways,” Emerson said. “I would say there’s guys sitting in a rocking chair raising a mug of beer to themselves because they designed a lot of these structures.”

Emerson says PDC Engineers is receiving on average 12 calls a day for design repairs, some with immediate commercial needs – and he does not expect the call volume to decrease any time soon.

They have started a queue for projects, and Emerson advises people with damage to their homes to receive a home inspection before calling in.

A preliminary damage assessment data map shows areas from Turnagain to Chugiak hit hardest by the quake on Nov. 30 (From Municipality of Anchorage)
A preliminary damage assessment data map shows areas from Chugiak to Eagle River hit hardest by the quake on Nov. 30 (From Municipality of Anchorage)
A preliminary damage assessment data map shows areas in Anchorage hit hardest by the quake on Nov. 30 (From Municipality of Anchorage)

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