MAT-SU—The Matanuska-Susitna Borough continues its effort to recover from a flood disaster in September. Federal and state officials completed a field assessment of individual damage this week. Starting Saturday the assessment begins for public infrastructure of roads and bridges. A determination on whether damage in the Borough is a federal disaster is expected to come in late November.
An early assessment has 823 properties in the Borough damaged, and 14 destroyed.
If your home and property were damaged by rising creeks/rivers/groundwater or by rainfall during the September flood you may call 1-855-445-7131 and apply for state individual disaster assistance funds. The deadline is November 20. You will need photos and dates of damage and proof of ownership. Damage includes flooded leach field systems and crawl spaces/basements and driveways and more.
The Borough has been paying the $54 cost for water tests of residents whose homes or yards were flooded in September affecting the quality of their drinking water. The Borough will continue this effort through next Wednesday Oct. 24. Collecting a water sample requires precision. A video is on our YouTube channel giving step-by-step details. The Borough can give you the test kit by calling Lorrie Moffitt at 907-861-7491 to set an appointment with her to pick one up. You must drop off the water sample within 24 hours of taking the sample at the Analytica Lab in Wasilla at 1203 W. Parks Highway, Wasilla, phone 373-5440.
Here is a link to the Borough video on water testing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNbB0KYUi3k&feature=share&list=UUXBmuRO6fthpyZ-SbV71SMA
This week the Assembly waived the $100 fee for floodplain permits from Sept. 15 to Nov 21. Residents who already paid during this time period may inquire about a refund. A permit is needed before rebuilding any damaged property from the flood. Without the local permit, state and federal disaster funds will not be accessible.
The Borough landfill will continue to waive fees for debris from the flood through Oct. 31. So far the landfill has accepted some $5,000 worth of debris for free including carpet and drywall.
All roads that were damaged in the flood are now passable. Some 60 roads were disrupted and more than 40 were closed at one point during the flood. A bridge remains impassable, but another bridge was built in a fraction of the expected time to deliver access.
The Borough held three community meetings in Talkeetna, Butte, and Willow, directly after the flood to disseminate information on testing drinking water, cleaning wells, repairing homes, and applying for state disaster assistance. Emergency Manager Casey Cook is reporting to Willow in a follow-up talk on Nov 5 at 7 pm at the WACO meeting, Willow Community Center, and in Butte with Mayor Larry DeVilbiss at the next community council meeting Nov. 14. Casey Cook is also in a forum with DOT, MEA, and MTA representatives at a Glacier View Community Council Meeting on Oct. 25 at 6 pm, talking about what to do in an emergency.
If a federal disaster is declared in addition to the declared state disaster, residents in the Borough would be eligible for federal funding for repairs and damage. With state funding this could tally up to $31,400 each. The disaster determination will be announced in November.