City and Borough of Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (far left), Deputy Mayor Maria Gladziszewski (middle) and Assembly member Michelle Bonnet Hale listen during a special Assembly meeting Monday night where members OK’d a resolution to seek state and federal funding following record flooding over the weekend. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

City and Borough of Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon (far left), Deputy Mayor Maria Gladziszewski (middle) and Assembly member Michelle Bonnet Hale listen during a special Assembly meeting Monday night where members OK’d a resolution to seek state and federal funding following record flooding over the weekend. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire)

City seeks state, federal assistance in aftermath of record Suicide Basin flooding

Assembly votes in special meeting to OK resolution requesting state action.

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly is requesting state and federal assistance in the aftermath of record-breaking flooding from Suicide Basin that occurred over the weekend.

[Record flooding from Suicide Basin destroys one home, swamps others and cuts off access]

Members unanimously voted to pass a local emergency declaration in a special meeting Monday night, which means a resolution requesting the assistance is now on its way to the Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management for decision.

According to Deputy City Manager Robert Barr, the dollar amount of assistance needed is unclear, but he estimated it is likely in the “multiple millions” and a more specific cost estimate will be shared in the coming weeks.

Barr said the state has the ability to provide public and individual assistance in response to the event, and can also upgrade the local declaration of emergency to a state declaration of emergency, which would open the doors to seek federal funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Barr said the likelihood of the event triggering FEMA funding is rare.

During the meeting, Juneau Mayor Beth Weldon expressed thanks for both support from the community, and from the state and federal leaders who have already been involved in the aftermath of the event.

“I just want to thank the community that has already reached out and tremendously supported this devastating, devastating event to many, many people,” she said.

Weldon said Gov. Mike Dunleavy visited the sites of damage Saturday night, and U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan have also expressed support for the Juneau community following the “unprecedented event.”

“My team and I stand ready to help the community and Alaskans impacted by this disaster if federal assistance becomes necessary,” Sullivan stated in a social media post.

Haines Mayor Douglas Olerud and Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska President Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson also reached out to assist Juneau, Weldon said.

Contact Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651) 528-1807.

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