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Earthquake

City of Anchorage estimates $30 million and counting in earthquake damage

  • Author: Devin Kelly
  • Updated: December 16, 2018
  • Published December 14, 2018

Anchorage officials estimate the Nov. 30 earthquake caused at least $30 million in damage to city-owned water lines, roads and buildings.

The number is expected to rise, with assessments and repairs slated to continue for months.

But Lance Wilber, the city budget director, gave a rough snapshot Friday afternoon of known damage estimates:

  • $10 million to repair water main line breaks.  
  • $10 million to repair or replace a building at the Anchorage Regional Landfill that houses warm storage, a maintenance shop and administrative offices. 
  • $10 million to fix roads and repair some city buildings, including the Eagle River Town Center.
  • Wilber said city departments have been closely tracking expenses. The plan is to apply for both state and federal reimbursement to cover repair bills, he said.

    The damage estimate, the first to come from Anchorage’s city government, is roughly in line with others released by large government agencies. The Anchorage School District estimated between $25 million and $50 million in damage; the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities said this week that it had spent $25 million on temporary repairs.

    So far, the city has been fixing water line breaks and patching roads, Wilber said. He said more extensive repairs will happen in the spring.

    Most city-owned buildings fared well in the quake, Wilber said. But some need more inspection and repair.

    At the Anchorage Regional Landfill, a warm storage area and maintenance shop suffered serious structural damage and was declared unsafe to enter, said Suzanna Caldwell, spokeswoman for Solid Waste Services. Employees will also be relocated from an attached administrative building that suffered damage, she said. She said it’s possible the entire building would have to be replaced.

    The building closures and repairs will not impact daily operations at the landfill, Caldwell said.

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