Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Response Efforts Reach $300,000

Mat-Su | Patty Sullivan | Monday, August 21, 2006

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER-- The Matanuska-Susitna Borough has spent $300,000 on the flood response to date. These expenditures encompass responder wages and purchase orders issued for rescue efforts, damage assessment and repairs. The bulk of this money has been issued for road contracts around clean up efforts.

The Matanuska-Susitna Borough is still focused on life safety issues, damage assessment and repair of borough roads and infrastructure. Currently, homeowners in need of assistance can visit the Help Centers located at the Willow Community Center and Sunshine Fire Station. As of last night, 33 people had visited the Help Centers for assistance and resources.

Help Centers are issuing coupons for up to $50 for disposal of flood debris at Matanuska Borough transfer stations and the MAT-SU landfill off of 49th State Street. In addition, dumpsters for flood debris are located in Talkeetna at the Beaver Rd. Gravel Pit, Houston Fire Station on the Parks Highway, and at the end of King Arthur Drive.

The Willow Community Help Center is distributing water test kits for homeowners that need to test residential wells. The test kits are free however homeowners will have to pay for testing. Water samples can be taken to MAT-SU Test Labs of Alaska located at 9161 E. Frontage Rd., Suite 15 off of the Palmer-Wasilla Highway (same building as Alaska Rim Engineering). They can be reached at 745-3005. In addition, the Willow Community Help Center will be stocked with 100 one-gallon jugs of water and 60 cases of water bottles. For more information regarding flooded residential water and sewer systems call the Department of Environmental Conservation at 376-1861 or 376-1852.

The State of Alaska Department of Transportation has estimated that the Parks Highway should be reopened by 8pm tonight. A correction has been issued for Mile 14 of Willow-Fishhook Rd. The washout has occurred on a quarter mile portion of Mile 33 (22 miles from the Parks Highway), not Mile 14, of Willow Fishhook Road. Also, locals have reported a washout in the Gate Creek subdivision north of Petersville Rd. located on Silvia Ann Marie Drive. The road is still passable by four-wheel drive.

Travelers are urged to use caution on wet roadways. Those individuals in flood affected areas should not attempt to cross swift-moving water to access their property.