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Mayor Bronson requests Anchorage be included in state disaster declaration to get funds for Girdwood repairs

Published: Dec. 23, 2021 at 9:04 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - A torrential rain storm dropped nearly 18 inches of rain in Girdwood over Halloween weekend, bringing damage to the community, and now Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson is asking for help from the state.

On Oct. 31, significant rain fell on the community, washing out an entire road and threatening several others.

On Tuesday, Bronson sent a request for the municipality to be included in a state disaster declaration for storm damage to the Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and it was forwarded to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s office this week.

“I sent a letter to Governor Dunleavy requesting he amend the state’s disaster declaration to include the Municipality of Anchorage,” Bronson said during Tuesday night’s Anchorage Assembly meeting. “Doing so will enable us to accept state relief funds related to rebuilding (and) repairing of roads that were damaged in the storm.”

Kyle Kelley, the Girdwood Service Area manager, says this would be a tremendous help to the community.

“It would be a big assist to the community here as we’ve taken a significant amount of emergency reserve to pay for these repairs and Girdwood being a small, small community,” Kelley said. “It would take us quite a bit, awhile, to pay that back and get those reserves and right now it’s deferring other maintenance that is critical to repair that was already scheduled before the storm happened.”

The total amount for the damage has cost the community more than $700,000 and they are anticipating a more than a $1.5 to $2.5 million project looking to be completed this coming summer.

“In the long run that culvert needs to be, a box culvert needs to be built there,” Kelley said. “To handle future flows, fish passages, just rather strengthen that area and protect the sewer line that’s above it.”

Kelley said they were able to address all the areas that were damaged and get them back into operating condition.

“In one period we had about 9.5 inches of rain in 24 hours, and during that period that’s when we saw the most significant damage with drainages overflowing and a big wash out on our road called Ruane Road,” Kelley said.

“The Municipality of Anchorage did not request to be included in the state disaster declaration for storm damage that occurred in parts of Southcentral Alaska last October until recently,” said spokesperson Jeff Turner via email. “The municipality’s request was submitted to the Alaska Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and was forwarded to the Governor’s office this week.”

Dunleavy expects to approve the city’s request pending his review of the application, Turner said.

Here is the letter Mayor Bronson sent:

Mayor Bronson asking for financial assistance in Girdwood.
Mayor Bronson asking for financial assistance in Girdwood.(Alaska's News Source)

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