Web posted Thursday, April 4, 2002

HEA seeks disaster aid

In a letter to Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley in mid-February, Homer Electric Association General Manager Norm Story asked that the borough formally declare a local disaster to help the utility get state and federal funding.

The hurricane-force winds and the freezing rain that followed caused $1.6 million in damaged infrastructure, emergency response and restoration costs, far exceeding the $239,801 HEA had budgeted for storm response for 2001, he said.

According to Alaska law, the mayor can declare a disaster emergency, which cannot be continued or renewed without the consent of the Assembly. The law also requires that a proclamation declaring an emergency must be "filed promptly with the Alaska Division of Emergency Services."

Among other things, a declaration activates all applicable disaster emergency plans and authorizes the "furnishing of aid and assistance under those plans."

Bagley said Saturday he has not yet made a recommendation for the declaration. "I don't know what we are going to do yet," he said. "I just wanted the Assembly to be aware of what was happening," he said.


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