Sen. Lisa Murkowski met this week with federal officials investigating FEMA’s response to this year’s flooding in Galena.
The flood left more than half of Galena’s homes uninhabitable.
Murkowski says the agency seemed unprepared for a community off the road system and failed to recognize the shortness of the Alaska building season.
One problem, she says, is that FEMA told people not to begin repairs until the extent of their loss is determined.
“Well, then you’re waiting; you’re waiting, and in the meantime you’ve got a house that may have been underwater; you now have mold going up and so you might be losing more of your house on a daily basis after the time within which the inspectors have come in and said ‘well, it’s 50 percent gone,’” Murkowski said. “There were things that were just part of a bureaucracy that just didn’t make sense.”
Murkowski says the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security plans to release a report on FEMA’s response to the Galena disaster by the end of the year.
- A new court case argues that the way in which state juries are selected in Alaska discriminates against rural, Native communities. The case could significantly impact the Delta’s court system if it’s successful.
- When a school closes in rural Alaska, families who stay face tough choices. They can send their children away to school in another village or city, or they can home school their kids. Clark’s Point fought for a third option, to reopen their school. The school, which closed in 2012, will be back in session next week.
- So far no reports of injuries in large fire that continues to burn at large, remote salmon processing plant on the Alaska Peninsula. One dock was cut away, and production facilities heavily damaged according to on-the-ground reports.
- Orutsararmiut Native Council held its first Science and Culture camp in July for high school students. Campers collected juvenile fish, like baby king and red salmon, and participated in activities in avian biology, ethnobotany and workshops on federal and state subsistence management.