Flooding brings financial struggles to rural parts of the state

Flooding in the Mat-Su Borough have left roads split and water gushing over the edges. As car maneuver around flooded roadways trying to make their way home.
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 6:33 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Flooding in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough has left roads split and water gushing over the edges.

“For the residents, it’s disastrous,” said Virgie Thompson, Houston mayor. “This is their home.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Thompson declared a disaster declaration for her city. Recalling the sights she witnessed during the flooding gave her grim flashbacks of the city’s flooding in 2012. The flooding then, she said, had a heavy impact on the community. Thompson said she thinks the flooding now might be worse than what she saw in 2012.

“I didn’t know any other way I could help the residents,” Thompson said. “I hope by declaring the disaster gives them the ability to maybe apply for loans to help.”

According to Thomspon, approximately 60 homes have been impacted by flooding, in addition to 140 properties. Damage concerns of extensive clean-up and mold are now one of the obstacles residents may need to deal with. Furthermore, the city has about 10,000 feet of road that must be repaired.

Thompson said the flood water had begun to recede. However, another problem arises in its place: the financial burdens left behind by the flood water. Being from a rural community, Thompson said this is a struggle.

“We are going to have to request from the state or another source to help us with this. We have a very limited budget,” said Thompson.

The state is working on temporary repairs, which have so far cost $13,211.

Fish and Game requires some hydrology study work before permanent repairs can be made. A DOT official said that could take a couple of years.

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