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Navarre signs disaster declaration

Posted: November 23, 2011 - 9:39am

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre on Tuesday signed a disaster declaration for the damage caused by windstorms since early November in the central and southern Peninsula.

By signing the declaration, Navarre is essentially requesting assistance from the state. It will be sent, along with supporting documentation, to Gov. Sean Parnell for consideration through the State Emergency Coordination Center, according to a news release from the Borough's Office of Emergency Management.

Three windstorms caused widespread damage to electrical power distribution and transmission lines, homes, businesses, a harbor, telephone systems and coastal areas across the borough.

More than 13,800 homes and businesses were left without power on one or more occasions, often for several days at a time.

Preliminary estimates place the damage at more than $1.8 million to $2 million. Damage to individual homes and businesses has not been determined. According to the release, those damages and the costs incurred responding to the hundreds of calls for assistance by first responders, emergency sheltering and road clearing "greatly exceed" the capabilities of the borough.

The city of Seward, Homer Electric Association and Chugach Electrical Association all have made requests for assistance from the borough.

The Office of Emergency Management is seeking a more comprehensive estimate of damage to public and private property, according to the release.

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