Yukon and Kusokwim Rivers (DR 1843)
Flood - Alaska
On June 11, 2009, President Obama declared a federal disaster declaration in the State of Alaska for communities hit by one of the worst spring floods on record along the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers. FEMA requested that WSP USA Inspection Services assist with the response for Individual Assistance in DR 1843 AK. WSP USA Inspection Services immediately deployed a team of highly skilled and experienced inspectors with equipment to Anchorage, Alaska.
Eagle Village and nearby Eagle, just west of the Canadian border, were the first and hardest hit by historic flooding in early May. The old Eagle Village was largely demolished, while massive ice chunks slammed into river-side buildings knocking houses off their foundations. As ice worked its way down the Yukon River, Circle and Fort Yukon experienced moderate flooding. Stevens Village was hit hard, as was Tanana. A number of villages at the western reaches of the river also flooded, as did villages along the Kuskokwim River. In the days that followed, the breakup continued downstream with villages hit one-by-one by high water -- some with water up to the roofs, heavy damage and evacuations, others with relatively minor flooding. By the time the National Weather Service called off its flood warning for Emmonak and other Lower Yukon River villages, the breakup flooding had flooded roughly 40 communities along more than 3,000 miles of rivers. Hundreds of Alaskans were displaced and many had their homes completely destroyed.
WSP USA Inspection Services visited 24 remote villages and completed 514 sweep inspections thus enabling FEMA to award $2,674,904 in Housing Assistance to individuals to cover temporary rentals, home repairs and replacement. An additional $3,068,012 in Other Needs Assistance (ONA) was awarded to individuals to cover essential personal property losses, subsistence items, medical, transportation or serious disaster-related expenses not covered by insurance. This timely disaster assistance coupled with support from voluntary organizations and other state agencies enabled the disaster victims of the 2009 spring break-up to clean, repair and rebuild their homes before winter set in.