Our thanks and appreciation goes to the Kenai Peninsula Borough government for its response to wind storms and flooding events during the past two weeks.
High winds and heavy rains have caused damage and flooding across the Peninsula, from Seward to the Kenai River to Anchor Point. Borough Mayor Mike Navarre responded with a disaster declaration on Sept. 21, one that has since been extended to give the borough more time to respond.
Emergency responders have been busy in flooded areas, keeping an eye on residents and assisting those who need evacuation. And road crews have been plenty busy dealing with flood damage.
Meanwhile, the borough assembly last week met in an emergency session to extend the disaster declaration and appropriate $500,000 from the borough’s general fund to help, as Assembly President Gary Knopp put it, “pay the bills while we are waiting for reimbursement from state and federal agencies.”
Preparedness is a topic we frequently hit on in this space, and we’re glad to know that the borough practices what it preaches, both in its emergency agency response, and in its administrative actions. What’s more, we’re glad that we have a healthy general fund for those days when it doesn’t just rain, it pours. We may quibble about mill rates and tax dollar allocations, but we’re not at the mercy of state and federal agencies when it comes to response in situations like these.
The next step is to assess the damage, and borough, state and federal agencies will be doing just that in days and weeks to come. In the meantime, property owners are encouraged to report damage to the borough using forms found online at www2.borough.kenai.ak.us/emergency.
Flooding is a fact of life here on the Kenai Peninsula. While we hope for the best, it’s comforting to know that we’re prepared for the worst.