Gov. Parnell Declares Disaster for Kivalina
September 7, 2012, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sean Parnell has issued a disaster declaration for Kivalina, a community within Northwest Arctic Borough (NWAB). The declaration makes funds available to pay for and/or reimburse expenses associated with emergency protective measures and immediate efforts to refill the community’s water holding tanks.
“Our top priority is to get water in the tanks so school can begin, and the community can prepare for winter,” Governor Parnell said.
Last month’s heavy rainfall in Kivalina resulted in record flows on the Wulik River, which washed away several sections of the surface water piping and prevented the City of Kivalina from filling the city’s raw water tank. The NWAB, school district, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC), State of Alaska, and other agencies are working to restore the conveyance of water from the Wulik River to the raw water tank.
“Disaster response is most effective when managed on a local level. Local governments understand the most effective way to restore basic services and meet the needs of the community,” said Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Katkus, Commissioner of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, which oversees emergency management. “The staff at the NWAB, school district, ANTHC and other agencies should be commended for their effort.”
The State of Alaska will continue to support the NWAB, school district, and City of Kivalina, as they find permanent solutions to issues not eligible under the State’s disaster recovery programs. Direct management of disaster recovery funds will be administered by the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
A copy of the disaster declaration is available here.