White House officials say President Donald Trump has issued a major disaster declaration following the Nov. 30 earthquake that rocked Anchorage and other parts of Southcentral Alaska.
The declaration Thursday comes in response to a recent request from Gov. Michael Dunleavy.
White House officials say the declaration frees up money to help the state recover more quickly. Initial estimates for damage and other costs have been pegged around $100 million.
The declaration also makes federal funding available to people affected by the magnitude 7.0 quake in Anchorage, the Matanuska Susitna Borough and the Kenai Peninsula Borough.
Funding also is available to state, tribal, certain nonprofits and eligible local governments.
Alaska’s three-member congressional delegation issued a statement Thursday, thanking the Trump administration for its “swift attention” to Dunleavy’s request.
- President Trump on Friday declared a national emergency to get money for a border wall that Congress refused to fund. He plans to divert $3.6 billion from military construction accounts, and that could drain money from Alaska projects.
- Gov. Dunleavy's proposed budget does away with about 25% of K-12 funding and cuts the University of Alaska system’s funding by 41%. Sitka School District's superintendent says, "If implemented, it will decimate public education in Alaska."
- Winter storms and blustery weather buffeting the Bering Sea this month have reduced sea ice coverage by almost 25% since late January. Sea ice in the Bering Sea is typically solid and stable this time of year, but scientists and communities are observing large areas of open water, and where there is ice, much of it is shifting.
- Anchorage resident Katie Van says she was charged undue sales taxes on clothing she bought from outside of Alaska. But LuLaRoe says they fixed their sales tax automation software and already made refunds.