Alaska News

Nome declares disaster following monster Alaska storm

The Northwest Alaska city of Nome has declared a disaster following a mid-November storm considered the worst in at least 40 years.

Nome's city council last week unanimously passed a resolution declaring the Bering Sea storm disastrous for the community. The declaration paves the way for state and federal relief, according to the Nome Nugget: assistance to repair public facilities, relief to individual property owners for damages incurred due to the storm, and government provisions for emergency, temporary housing.

The local declaration is the first step to money for storm cost relief; next, the state will consider a disaster declaration at that level. Even then, there is no guarantee that the Federal Emergency Management Agency—FEMA—will participate. The state Department of Transportation and public facilities will handle damage to the Nome-Council Road. If the damage exceeds $1 million, federal highway programs will become involved.

According to the Nugget, flooding and structural damage was "beyond the capability" of municipal resources set aside for storm response and recovery.

Read more at the Nome Nugget.

Craig Medred

Craig Medred is a former writer for the Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch and Alaska Dispatch News. He left the ADN in 2015.