November 17, 2004
The same day, Governor Frank H. Murkowski expanded the initial state disaster declaration to include new damage as a result of the sustained sea storms.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) made the announcement of a major disaster declaration on Tuesday. The declaration covers damage to public property from storms, tidal surges and flooding that occurred between Oct. 18-20.
This disaster declaration makes the Bering Strait Regional Education Attendance Area (REAA) and the Northwest Arctic Borough eligible for federal relief. It covers cleanup efforts and also makes available cost-shared funds for approved projects that reduce future disaster risks. The current declared areas estimated disaster damage costs come to $4.859 million, with federal assistance covering up to 75 percent of eligible costs. An additional $8.25 million in damages to roads is being funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and the Federal Highways Administration (FHWA).
In the meantime, Governor Murkowski has extended the state disaster declaration to also include the Lower Kuskokwim REAA, the Lower Yukon REAA and the Kashunamiut REAA to include Chevak and the Pribilof Islands REAA.
In his amended disaster declaration, Governor Murkowski also extended the storm period through Oct. 24 as strong winds and extreme tidal surges continued even as state teams were responding to the initial request for help from local communities.
The estimated response and recovery costs for the expanded areas are over $6 million. The state will request that the expanded areas be included in an amended federal disaster declaration. If the state is granted this request, up to 75 percent of the eligible disaster costs for these areas will also be covered. Governor Murkowski plans to ask the Legislature for supplemental appropriation to cover the state's disaster response costs.
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