Gov. Mike Dunleavy issued a disaster declaration for the Kenai Peninsula this week for storms and severe winter weather that impacted the Kenai Peninsula beginning Nov. 21 through Dec. 10.
A Feb. 5 press release from the governor’s office said the severe winter storms impacted state owned and maintained infrastructure on the peninsula. The borough issued their own disaster declaration at the end of November 2019.
The state’s disaster declaration triggers the Alaska public assistance disaster recovery program, which is funded by the state of Alaska Disaster Relief Fund. The state’s public assistance program is designed to restore eligible critical infrastructure, fund debris removal and reimburse emergency protective measures incurred by eligible applicants, the release said. The Feb. 5 release said Dunleavy will request a presidential disaster declaration in order to activate federal public assistance.
The winter storms that passed through the Kenai Peninsula late last year brought high winds, significant snowfall and heavy rains, which triggered power outages, road damage, harbor damage and flooding in multiple areas.
“The Kenai Peninsula saw numerous disaster events in the last few years,” Dunleavy said in the release. “In addition to this disaster, the peninsula experienced damages to the Lowell Point area in Seward, power outages in Halibut Cove, the 2018 Cook Inlet Earthquake, water shortages and the Swan Lake Fire. The Borough, impacted communities, and state agencies performed admirably throughout these events. The state is committed to helping the affected communities recover from this disaster.”
Local governments, state agencies, tribal entities and certain nonprofits may apply for state public assistance for damage that was a direct result of the declared disaster event.