Disaster declared for water line leak at Tuluksak School
BETHEL, Alaska (KTUU) - A water line leak in the Southwest Alaska community of Tuluksak has prompted a disaster declaration from Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
According to a release from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the water supply line issue was discovered in early February by maintenance employees of the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation.
“Winter weather will prevent repairs to the line until spring, so the school has been hauling water for school operations including feeding, teacher housing, laundry, and sanitation,” the release said. “The water hauling operation has required additional school staff hours, pumps, water storage tanks, and community waterplant operation.”
Tuluksak went nearly a month without running water after a fire destroyed the water plant in 2021.
Tuluksak is a mostly Alaska Native community along the Kuskokwim River.
According to the release, Dunleavy’s disaster declaration was issued on Friday — the same day that the community of Tuluksak submitted their disaster declaration. The declaration will now allow emergency response resources to be allocated through the Public Assistance Program, as well as reimbursement of costs related to the disaster.
“Schools are a critical part of rural Alaskan communities,” Dunleavy said. “They are where people gather, receive meals, conduct in-person learning, and seek shelter during disasters. In order to operate a school needs a supply of fresh water. This declaration will help the Yupiit School District provide water for school operations until permanent water line repairs can be made.”
The release says that the State Emergency Operations Center will continue working with the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, the Yupiit Schol District, Tuluksak Native Community, Alaska Energy Authority and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
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