QUAKE DAY 2: Officials talk on aftermath, path forward on the day after the 7.0 quake

Damage done to Vine Road from the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Photo from Jamie Hastings.
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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) — Update:

KTUU was living at the Municipality of Anchorage status update.

Original story:
The day following one of Alaska's worst earthquakes on record, many were left wondering what to do and where to go in the wake of the damage.

KTUU was live at the press conference of Mayor Ethan Berkowitz and his public safety team at the Emergency Operations Center, where officials went over the overall response to, and details of, that earthquake.

There, several department heads, including the chief of the Anchorage Police Department, Anchorage Fire Department, and the representatives with the Department of Transportation, all spoke on earthquake information.

According to Berkowitz, the city's infrastructure worked as intended, having been built specifically to withstand earthquakes which, for the most part, they did.

Anchorage Municipal Manager Bill Falsey said the City of Anchorage was beginning to assess the cost of time spent and getting municipal services and infrastructure back to normal but the estimate is very preliminary and not ready to be released.

Falsey described that the bill had so far run up into the millions.

A boil water advisory is still in place for the Anchorage area but Falsey said that it was purely precautionary. Water is totally safe to drink coming from Girdwood, said officials.

Crews worked from Anchorage Water and Wastewater Utility and Enstar to repair broken water mainlines and check for natural gas leaks.

Falsey said that 28 water mainline breaks were reported but most were false alarms. AWWU crews were able to repair eight waterline breaks Saturday and had valves throttled down to maintain water service while minimizing leaking.

Crews from Enstar were working Saturday to check around 600 potential gas leaks across the company's service area. If safe to do so, gas would be turned on.

Around 40 crew members were working on the ground including 12 who had flown up specially from the Lower-48.

Jodie Hettrick, chief of AFD, said two houses were significantly damaged during the earthquake, but no one was injured and the homes themselves did not totally collapse.

As for the house that burned down near 76th Avenue and C Street after the earthquake, Hettrick said a cause has yet not been established.

Wind and snow storms are creating some urgency for crews across the city said Berkowitz. Hettrick described that 45 mph winds are forecast for the city, rising to 65 mph at on the Hillside.

Snow is also forecast for the Anchorage-area Sunday through Monday which could also hamper efforts

Justin Doll, chief of APD, said the department did not get any reports of looting or vandalism across Anchorage. He said there had been minor damaged at APD's facilities on Elmore Rd. and downtown.

The new shelter location for Saturday night is the Fairview Recreation Center for people looking for a warm place to sleep. Falsey says the Egan Convention Center was unavailable due to a prior commitment.

No one sought shelter in Girdwood Friday evening but if a warm place to stay is needed, people can stay at the Girdwood Fire Department through Sunday morning.

The Chugiak Senior Center will not be available Saturday night as a shelter location.

Major road closures and delays will continue for the next several days. The Glenn Highway remains the area of most concern to city officials, said Falsey, and detours will continue through Eagle River.

"If you do not need to be on the Glenn Highway, you should not be on the Glenn Highway," said Falsey.

State Department of Transportation crews were able to reopen all lanes heading north on the Glenn Highway as of Saturday evening, the trip south though will be more complicated with detours and delays planned through next week.

Rock slides have also been reported in the area between milepost 104 and 113 on the Seward Highway, more are expected with further aftershocks.

A full list of impacted roads can be found here.

Schools in the Anchorage School District will remain closed until Wednesday. In an email, ASD spokesperson Catherine Esary said ASD "respectfully ask the community to please not go to schools seeking entrance, and to allow this work to happen unimpeded."

This is due to the extent of the damage making entering the building, and doing maintenance repairs,"a very involved and potentially dangerous effort." Due to this, only official recovery teams will be allowed into schools until further notice.

This information was issued at 10:30 a.m. Saturday and is subject to change. The same city and state officials plan to give another situation report at 4:30 p.m. This story will be updated at that time.



 
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