Three weeks later, many businesses in Anchorage and Eagle River remain closed because of earthquake damage

Published: Dec. 21, 2018 at 3:48 PM AKST
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The Westmark Hotel in downtown Anchorage will remain closed indefinitely according to Ralph Samuels, vice president of external relations for Holland America Line.

Samuels says the hope is to reopen the hotel by the summer.

The magnitude 7.0 earthquake on Nov. 30 caused a broken water pipe on the 15th floor and structural damage to the building according to Samuels.

He says about 40 employees have lost their jobs because of the closure.

Samuels says the company has been working with the governor's office as well as Sen. Dan Sullivan's office to see if there is an option to use money from FEMA to provide financial help to the employees.

Meanwhile, the McDonald's in Eagle River remains closed and the hotel My Place in midtown Anchorage will likely remain closed until February.

Sleepy Dog Coffee Co and Roaster in Eagle River has resumed drive-thru service, although the inside remains closed to customers.

Lee Raymond who owns the coffee shop says the front of his building collapsed.

"This was one open wall, there was nothing here at all," Raymond said.

He says he's making enough money to cover the payroll.

Raymond says when his wife saw the damage, she started crying.

"She just sat down and cried, so I took her out to lunch for a double-wine lunch to get her down to where she can handle it again," Raymond said. "I've been married for 35 years, I know how to handle my wife by now."

Raymond says he's one of the lucky business owners because he can do a lot of the repairs himself.

"The community loves this place," Raymond said.