More than 100 Galena homes deemed uninhabitable

khopkins@adn.comJune 10, 2013 

FAIRBANKS -- State and federal officials have declared 105 Galena homes to be "uninhabitable" following a preliminary assessment of flood damage in the Yukon River village.

The state Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency completed the preliminary review over the weekend, said Division spokesman Tony Luiken.

Fifteen homes were destroyed in the floods, he said. Another 90 sustained major damage and would be unsafe for evacuated families to live in.

Galena city and tribal leaders agreed Monday to send 50 evacuees back to the village Tuesday to begin working on cleanup efforts. The returning workers are village residents who have completed hazardous materials training, said Shirley Cleaver, a Galena business owner involved in the emergency response.

An ice jam downriver from Galena swamped the village May 27. As many as 300 people fled the town and most have not returned.

The state has also completed a preliminary assessment of home damage in Circle, a smaller upriver community hammered by flooding earlier in May. Floodwaters destroyed seven homes in the village with another eight sustaining major damage, Luiken said.

The Red Cross and Small Businesses Administration aided in the damage assessments, he said.



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