North Slope storm causes estimated $10 million in damage

  • By The Associated Press
  • Monday, October 9, 2017 9:16pm
  • News

ANCHORAGE — Damages from a recent storm in Alaska’s North Slope could end up costing the regional government more than $10 million, and a damaged road in the nation’s northernmost town could keep whalers from an important subsistence area.

North Slope Borough officials say the late September storm caused severe damage in the town of Utqiagvik (oot-GHAR’-vik) because of wave surges and winds gusting at more than 45 mph. The storm in the community formerly known as Barrow lasted several days and eroded roads and protective berms. It also damaged infrastructure and personal property in the town.

About 3,700 feet of a beach road has been destroyed, preventing access to a lagoon area that is used as a backup site to land whales if waves are too intense on the coast.

Two lagoons below the town’s freshwater lake were flooded, now with water levels nearly reaching the level of the freshwater source. Officials say freshwater culverts were plugged to prevent saltwater reaching the fresh water lake.

In Utqiagvik and the nearby Browerville site, 22 lots also were flooded.

Seven historical lots on a bluff were undercut by wave surges that left the area unstable and beginning to collapse.

Officials say other coastal communities in the region are still being assessed for damages.

The borough is footing the bill for the repairs, David Fauske, a borough spokesman, said in an email to The Associated Press on Monday. There are no plans at this time to seek a federal disaster declaration, he said.

More in News

LaDawn Druce asks Sen. Jesse Bjorkman a question during a town hall event on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
District unions call for ‘walk-in’ school funding protest

The unions have issued invitations to city councils, the borough assembly, the Board of Education and others

tease
House District 6 race gets 3rd candidate

Alana Greear filed a letter of intent to run on April 5

Kenai City Hall is seen on Feb. 20, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Victoria Petersen/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai water treatment plant project moves forward

The city will contract with Anchorage-based HDL Engineering Consultants for design and engineering of a new water treatment plant pumphouse

Students of Soldotna High School stage a walkout in protest of the veto of Senate Bill 140 in front of their school in Soldotna, Alaska, on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi students walk out for school funding

The protest was in response to the veto of an education bill that would have increased school funding

The Kenai Courthouse as seen on Monday, July 3, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Clam Gulch resident convicted of 60 counts for sexual abuse of a minor

The conviction came at the end of a three-week trial at the Kenai Courthouse

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meets in Seward, Alaska, on Tuesday, April 16, 2024. (screenshot)
Borough awards contract for replacement of Seward High School track

The project is part of a bond package that funds major deferred maintenance projects at 10 borough schools

Kenai Peninsula Education Association President LaDawn Druce, left, and committee Chair Jason Tauriainen, right, participate in the first meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s Four Day School Week Ad Hoc Committee on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
4-day school week committee talks purpose of potential change, possible calendar

The change could help curb costs on things like substitutes, according to district estimates

A studded tire is attached to a very cool car in the parking lot of the Peninsula Clarion in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Studded tire removal deadline extended

A 15-day extension was issued via emergency order for communities above the 60 degrees latitude line

A sign for Peninsula Community Health Services stands outside their facility in Soldotna, Alaska, on Monday, April 15, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
PCHS to pursue Nikiski expansion, moves to meet other community needs

PCHS is a private, nonprofit organization that provides access to health care to anyone in the community

Most Read