Chilkoot Indian Association gets federal funds to help Haines homeowners fix disaster damage

A neighborhood near downtown Haines flooded Wednesday morning, Dec. 2, 2020. (Henry Leasia/KHNS)
A neighborhood near downtown Haines flooded Wednesday morning, Dec. 2, 2020. (Henry Leasia/KHNS)

The Chilkoot Indian Association has received relief funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help Haines homeowners fix damage from the December 2020 floods and landslides.

The disastrous weather event saw over 10 inches of rainfall in a two-day period in the Haines borough, compounded by 96 inches of snowfall over six days. The cumulative effect was catastrophic.

On Tuesday, the Chilkoot Indian Association announced that they had received disaster funds from HUD to help homeowners.

“Anybody who has had an issue with their property, their driveways, flood damage, any debris that needs to be cleared up, also redirecting any floodwaters that that keep occurring because of the heavy rain and everything — we’re here to help with that, too,” Chilkoot Indian Association housing coordinator Aliza Tompkins said.

She said the service is open to all Haines residents, but the program cannot reimburse repair work that’s already been done. According to Tompkins, after a homeowner’s application is approved, the association will send their in-house crew to do the work.

“They’ll be coming by and actually taking pictures, assessing the damage and documenting all the damage that’s been done,” Tompkins said. “And from there, we have to do what’s called an environmental review, which is kind of a lengthy, lengthy process to make sure that the environment will not be damaged. And from there, then the crew will go out and fix what we need to fix.”

She said repair timelines will depend on the damage and whether stores in the area have the necessary supplies. But she also said this is the right time to get started.

“Now that spring is hit, now that everything is thawing, and the snow is going away, this is the best time to actually assess the damage that we can fix as we go,” Tompkins said.

Interested homeowners can pick up an application at the Chilkoot Indian Association office, download one from their website or facebook page or call 766-2323.

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