Gov. Sean Parnell Friday issued a state disaster declaration for Galena and other communities affected by spring flooding.
It will activate at least $1 million in state disaster recovery funds.
The hardest hit is Galena, where much of the community of nearly 500 was submerged by water earlier this week. Many residents were evacuated after a 30-mile ice jam on the Yukon River caused the flooding.
The jam broke Wednesday evening and the floodwaters have since receded, leaving behind chunks of ice, mud and a huge cleanup.
State emergency management spokesman Sam Hutchinson says responders are now switching to recovery mode.
About 130 people remain in the town at the Galena Interior Learning Academy, which is on the former Air Force station, and in the New Town/Crow Creek area.
According to the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC), emergency response priorities are restoring essential services, including power, water, and sewer to the Air Force Station and Galena airport. Food, water, sanitation items, and other essential supplies that have been flown into the airport are being relocated by helicopter to residents in the New Town/Crow Creek areas, which are currently inaccessible due to flood water, ice debris, road and bridge washouts.
Meanwhile, responders met today with Galena residents who evacuated earlier this week to Fairbanks, about 270 miles to the east. They represent the state emergency management division, Alaska Housing Finance Corporation and other state agencies as well as the American Red Cross, federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, and Tanana Chief Conference .
The Tanana Chiefs Conference is coordinating local resources for residents.
- It aims to preserve Alaska Native culture by giving tribes and tribal organizations the ability to oversee local child welfare problems, rather than social workers coming in from outside their communities. That often results in children being removed from their communities.
- Dressed in full Gwich’in regalia, Potts recounted growing up in a modest dirt-floor hunting cabin in Eagle, losing someone close to suicide, and taking the conventions theme of strength in unity to get back to enjoying life again.
- The Juneau School District wants to consolidate its two high school football programs and cheer squads. Superintendent Dr. Mark Miller said at a press conference Thursday afternoon that the decision to send a formal request to the Alaska School Activities Association has been two years in the making.
- Three helmets, two hats, a headdress and a beaded shirt are from as far back as the 1600s to about 1890. They will be stored through the National Park Service, with access being granted to the Tlingit clans.