Wind-blasted Northwest village asks for disaster assistance

Associated PressMarch 27, 2012 

The Northwest Alaska village of Kivalina has declared a disaster after a windstorm swept snow into huge piles.

City administrator Janet Mitchell says the snow piles are as high as houses in some places and one home was completely covered. She says many stove vents have been clogged by snow. No injuries have been reported.

Mitchell says the declaration, first reported by the Alaska Dispatch, was issued last week. Officials sought assistance from the Northwest Arctic Borough.

Mitchell says the borough called the state Department of Homeland Security, which determined the situation was not a disaster.

The borough provided $1,000, which Mitchell says is going toward clearing roads leading to public structures including the clinic, firefighting equipment and the fuel tank farm in the community of about 435 people.

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