Mat-Su Latest: Some roads left passable but unplowable after earthquake


ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Mat-Su Borough is the home to the epicenter of Friday’s earthquake and some of the most dramatic of the visible damage. Borough officials say the mayor declared a disaster Friday, which it has submitted to Gov. Bill Walker’s office.

The Borough’s Emergency Services director, Otto Feather, says the Borough is getting back on its feet rather quickly, with few major infrastructure impacts.

The Borough’s Emergency Services director, Otto Feather, says though there are a few road closures, none have cut people off from their homes or from getting to town. Vine Road, the most visual of the damaged areas, is closed, and the Borough says it’s not safe for pedestrians to descend onto the broken slabs. Though it’s closed, drivers can still get to where they’re going through other routes, including Clapp St. and Johnson Rd.

Pittman Road also has damage, but Feather said that there are routes around the damage. There’s also damage to Point Mackenzie Road, closest to the epicenter of the largest quakes. Feather said it suffered quite a bit of damage.

Point Mackenzie Road has a lot of damage, but is still passable, but with the expected snowfall, the road is not plowable -- the Borough says lips up to four inches high have been caused by the damage, making plowing dangerous.

The Glenn Highway ramp north toward Palmer suffered damage as well. DOT has reopened one lane of the ramp, but says to avoid it unless absolutely necessary.

Feather said when it comes to roads, drive safely, but more importantly, stay home if you don’t have to be out.

Mat-Su Schools, except Glacier View Elementary, Trapper Creek Elementary, Su-Valley High School, Talkeetna Elementary, Willow Elementary and Beryozova School are closed Monday and Tuesday. Jillian Morrissey, the Mat-Su Borough School District spokesperson, says the district will be briefed by its facilities department Monday, and will announce any further decisions at 2 p.m. Monday.

Morrissey said already, she knows that some schools will need long-term planning, while others will require short-term plans to get back to full operation.

Feather, the Borough Emergency Services manager, said that Houston Middle School had suffered severe damage, and engineers were expected to take a close look at Colony Middle and High Schools.

Matanuska Electric's outage map shows six people with outages as of 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Friday afternoon after the quake, about 12,000 MEA members were without power.

No Borough officials Channel 2 spoke with had information compiled on buildings that were badly damaged by the quake. Reports from residents included lots of items damaged in homes that were knocked over by the shaking.

If your home or business has been damaged, the Borough asks you to report it on this website.

For those with private wells, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation says if your water has changed color, smells different or has changed flow rate, you’ll want to get it checked. Inspect your well for visible damage and use alternate water until you can confirm it is safe.

Here’s DEC’s guide to checking your well in the case of an emergency.

Mat-Su Borough transfer stations and dumps are open as usual.

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