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Peninsula, Seward officials issue local disaster declarations

Tegan Hanlon,Zaz Hollander

The Kenai Peninsula Borough mayor and Seward city manager issued local disaster declarations Tuesday for damage to homes, property and roads from heavy rains that soaked the area.

While thousands of people in Southcentral had regained power by morning after a storm swamped the region Monday, some continued to face other serious weather-related problems.

Borough Mayor Mike Navarre reported damaged furnaces, flooded septic systems and inundated wells in homes off of Kalifornsky Beach Road on the west side of the Kenai Peninsula. He said in the declaration that saturated ground, road closures and shut-down utilities have displaced between 30 and 40 people.

The ground is too saturated from heavy snows over the past two years to absorb rainfall, he said. The closest drainage area is too far away to connect the flooded area. Navarre said all-terrain vehicles have been stationed near some flooded roads to provide emergency access.

On the east side of Kenai Peninsula, residents of Lowell Point, south of Seward, spent most of Tuesday cut off from town. A rain-induced waterfall overtopped a bridge and closed Lowell Point Road -- the only access road to the waterfront community -- until evening.

Locals said that a water taxi service, Miller's Landing, provided transportation for some residents during the day. Others stayed at home.

About 20 to 25 people live in the community year-round, said Alison Heavirland, a Lowell Point resident reached by phone at home Tuesday as she took care of her 7-week-old daughter. She wasn't worried about the situation. A grocery trip a few days ago left the house well-stocked, though the beer supply wasn't so good.

But people are getting weary of the problems with the bridge, Heavirland said. She and her husband have lived at Lowell Point since 2005. This marks the third major flood.

"I'm just waiting for that bridge to collapse," she said. '"I wish the city would build another bridge."

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Reach Tegan Hanlon at thanlon@adn.com or 257-4589. Reach Zaz Hollander at zhollander@adn.com or 257-4317.

 


By TEGAN HANLON and ZAZ HOLLANDER
Anchorage Daily News