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Alaskans affected by winter storms can now apply for disaster recovery grants

Published: Jan. 4, 2022 at 5:15 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Those impacted by the days-long wind event that tore through the Matanuska-Susitna Borough and other extreme winter weather events around the state can now apply for disaster recovery grants, the state announced Tuesday.

Several homes and businesses suffered damage in a several day windstorm that began ravaging the Mat-Su on Saturday, flipping over planes, tipping over semitrucks and ripping roofs off some houses. The borough declared an emergency disaster this week, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy made a state disaster declaration on Monday for the Mat-Su and several other areas of the state that have been affected by extreme winter weather.

He declared the disaster “in response to numerous impacts from extreme cold weather, high winds, freezing rain, and heavy snowfall,” a release from the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs said Tuesday. It encompasses the Mat-Su, the Fairbanks North Star Borough including Nenana, the Denali Borough, the Delta/Greely Regional Education Attendance Area, and the Copper River Regional Education Attendance Area.

Interior Alaska was also recently battered by extreme freezing rain and snow conditions, such that the Alaska National Guard was activated to assist in extracting residents who were stranded in their homes due to the weather. Thousands were also left without power and roads in some places became impassable.

People from those communities may be eligible for disaster recovery grants for any damage to their primary homes caused by the recent winter storms. According to the release, those people should apply online at ready.alaska.gov for the State Individual Assistance Program through the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

The assistance program has three parts, according to the release: grants for temporary housing, housing assistance grants and assistance grants for other needs.

“Temporary Housing can provide funds to secure lodging while applicants pursue permanent housing solutions,” the release states. “Financial assistance may be available for up to 18 months for owners and three months for renters.”

The grants for housing assistance can provide funds for damage to homes that are not already covered by insurance. The program doesn’t apply to secondary homes, only primary ones.

“Damages must be serious and negatively impact the essential living spaces in the home, and damages must be from the declared event,” the release states.

The grants for “other needs” can provide funds for losses to “essential personal property” that is not already covered by insurance. According to the release, that can include clothing, furniture or home appliances.

“The State of Alaska is working with federal partners to identify programs that may become available to disaster survivors,” the release states. “If activated, federal disaster assistance must be pursued before a State IA award.”

The deadline for registration is March 4.

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